Afghanistan fight back as India reach 347-6 in historic Test

Afghanistan is all set to make its Test debut against India in Bengaluru this week

Afghanistan is all set to make its Test debut against India in Bengaluru this week

Afghanistan is playing its first ever Test match against no.1-ranked India in the historic one-off Test at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday.

India´s Shikhar Dhawan and fellow centurion Murali Vijay raised 168 runs for the opening stand to vindicate the decision to bat as the hosts cruised to 280 for one after thoroughly dominating the first two sessions.

Afghanistan received recognition from the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2001 and are now the 12th Test-playing nation in the world.

Afghanistan recently acquired test status and will play its first test match against India in Bangalore on June 14-18.

Khan, who gave away 120 runs in 26 overs, then combined with fellow spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman as the pair got a wicket each of Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara to pull things back.

If pitch is a factor, Afghanistan would do well to know that the last time India played there, Nathan Lyon smoked through their line-up with a eight-wicket haul in the first innings. However, now with Afghanistan qualified to play test matches, the Indian government realised it was important for their team to have its own exclusive cricket stadium which would host their worldwide matches.

India's sports minister, Rajyavardhan Rathore, shook hands with Afghan players before the match and read out a congratulatory statement from Modi.

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Shikhar Dhawan led India with a blistering century as India dominated this session as well.

"Our Kuldeep Yadav (2 Tests) has played more first-class games than all their spinners put together". "Most of the Afghan players have received training from Indian coaches in their formative years". "So, there are players you can't hide when they do well in domestic cricket".

While majority of the sports fans, in soul and spirit, will be in Russian Federation enjoying the surreal skills of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the eternal cricket romantic will try to derive his little pleasures of life watching Rashid Khan trying to hurry Shikhar Dhawan with a flipper or bowl a googly to Ajinkya Rahane. We will get to learn a lot from India.

On the team front, Simmons dropped a hint that beefy keeper-batsman Mohammed Shahzad may purely play as a batsman as they have a designated four-day keeper in Afsar Zazai. We are prepared. Our batsmen have faced different bowlers - spinners and pacers both - and that is the best preparation.

India also have a couple of new players in their squad, which will make Rahane's task of fielding the right combination a bit hard.

In reality, the Indians have been more or less comfortable against the slower bowlers in the previous season barring the first Test against Australia in Pune a year ago.

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