Afghanistan have been handed a bruising introduction to Test cricket by India on Thursday because the staff capped their astonishing rise from conflict and refugee camps to becoming a member of the game’s elite.
Afghan skipper Asghar Stanikzai referred to as it a “very proud moment” as he strode onto the sphere at Bangalore’s M. Chinnaswamy stadium for the toss, received by reverse quantity Ajinkya Rahane.
“All the guys have first-class experience. Inshallah (God willing), we can do well,” the 30-year-old batsman mentioned.
Afghanistan have change into certainly one of solely 12 nations sanctioned to play Tests, the five-day format thought-about cricket’s peak, after defying heavy odds to emerge as a power within the recreation.
The hosts gave no quarter to the Afghan bowlers, nevertheless, reaching 264 for one when rain stopped play for the second time within the ultimate session. Shikhar Dhawan smashed a cruel 107 and Murali Vijay was unbeaten on 99.
The left-right opening mixture of Dhawan and Vijay put collectively a 168-run stand to make the Afghanistan bowlers toil.
Dhawan galloped to his century in simply 87 deliveries, turning into the primary Indian batsman to achieve three figures on the opening day earlier than lunch.
Dhawan hit 19 fours and three sixes as he set concerning the Afghan bowlers together with spin sensation Rashid Khan, smashing three boundaries within the teenager’s opening over to deliver up his 50.
But Dhawan additionally grew to become Afghanistan’s first Test wicket when paceman Yamin Ahmadzai had him caught by Mohammad Nabi within the slips early within the second session.
Lokesh Rahul, batting on 44, then joined Vijay to proceed India’s momentum as they placed on an unbeaten 96-run partnership for the second wicket.
– Glued to the TV –
Most cricket-loving Afghans have been watching the match on TV again residence as they ready for a three-day public vacation for the Muslim pageant of Eid.
Afghans took to social media to have fun the beginning of the Test, which comes amid a authorities ceasefire in the course of the holy month of Ramadan.
Nadir Danish within the japanese province of Khost wrote on Facebook: “I hope they (India) do not make history of us — they are piling up runs on Afghanistan. The way their openers have batted has panicked the Afghanistan team!”
Earlier, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani despatched his congratulations for what he referred to as a “historic day”.
“I am proud of the men who championed cricket in Afghanistan in the dawn of the century and believed in themselves that one day Afghanistan will play against the best in the world,” he mentioned.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “May sports continue to bring our people closer and strengthen ties.”
– From camps to World Cups –
Afghan cricket grew out of refugee camps in Pakistan the place many households have been primarily based after they fled battle within the 1980s and 1990s.
The nationwide staff have made large strides towards a lot richer and extra secure nations, regardless of unrest at residence which has compelled them to coach in India since 2015.
Afghanistan final yr achieved full member standing of the International Cricket Council, making them certainly one of solely 12 Test groups.
They gained one-day worldwide standing in 2009 and have certified for his or her second 50-over World Cup to be held in England and Wales subsequent yr.
They have additionally been a part of 4 Twenty20 World Cups.
Last week they secured a T20 sequence sweep over Bangladesh helped by spin bowler Khan, 19, the stand-out star of this yr’s Indian Premier League.
“The terror in our home area meant we did not have access to an education while growing up. My parents even forbid my siblings and I to play cricket outside our home,” Khan, certainly one of 12 kids, mentioned in a current interview with Afghan media.
“But no amount of war stopped me from sneaking out to play cricket with my brothers.”
Only final month, an assault on a cricket match in Khan’s residence metropolis of Jalalabad killed eight folks and wounded 45.
While Afghanistan’s successes up to now have come in brief codecs of cricket, they have to now show they’ll stand the bodily and psychological problem of a five-day match.
Shikhar Dhawan grew to become the primary Indian batsman to attain a century within the first session of a Test.
The hosts reached 264 for one when rain stopped play for the second time within the ultimate session
Afghanistan’s nationwide staff have made large strides towards a lot richer and extra secure nations