India vs Afghanistan One-off Test Live: India win toss, opt to bat
LIVE CRICKET SCORE, INDIA VS AFGHANISTAN ONE-OFF TEST: Afghanistan will take a sense of excitement, not nerves, onto the pitch for their maiden Test match on Thursday, skipper Asghar Stanikzai says. Afghanistan will become only the 12th Test nation when they face India, the world’s top-ranked side. But Stanikzai doesn’t expect the enormity of the occasion to affect his players. Afghanistan have made quick strides in white-ball cricket since its international debut in 2001. They played at the ODI World Cup for the first time in 2015 and has already qualified for next year’s championship in England. They also reached the Super Ten stage in the World T20 in 20016 and beat eventual champions West Indies in a league match. The troubled country is yet to play an international game at home and the possibility of doing so in the future is remote as well. It has set up an adoptive base in India, playing limited-overs series against Ireland and Bangladesh in the past three years. (LIVE SCORECARD)
LIVE SCORE AND UPDATES, INDIA VS AFGHANISTAN, ONE-OFF TEST FROM M CHINNASWAMY STADIUM, BENGALURU
09.15 IST: Playing XIs
Afghanistan: Mohammad Shahzad, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Stanikzai(c), Afsar Zazai(w), Mohammad Nabi, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Yamin Ahmadzai, Wafadar
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane(c), Lokesh Rahul, Dinesh Karthik(w), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav
09.12 IST: Captain’s Speak
Ajinkya Rahane: We’re going to bat first. Looks like a good wicket to bat on. There’s some grass but in India it’s important to bat first. Crucial. Important to start well after the IPL/T20 season. Historic moment for both nations. The boys are very confident, especially the last Test we played in Jo’burg against South Africa. Our preparation has been fantastic, and it’s been about tuning our mind rather than our skills. Coming from T20, it’s all about changing your attitude and mindset. The guys are really looking forward to it. Always an honour to captain India. We are not taking them lightly at all. All opponents are the same, and we wish to be ruthless here. The guys left out are Kuldeep, Saini, Nair, and Shardul.
Ashgar Stanikzai: Proud that we are playing our first Test. All the guys have some first-class experience, but out first Test, obviously. First one hour, it will be a good wicket for bowling, so happy to be bowling first. If we get wickets, it’ll be good for us.
09.10 IST: All three openers are playing, which means KL Rahul will bat at No. 4. No Karun Nair, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur or Navdeep Saini.
09.05 IST: Just before the toss, in a special gesture, former India all-rounder Salim Durani presented a memento to Afghan captain Asghar Stanikzai. Interestingly, Durani was born in Afghanistan.
09.00 IST: TOSS – India win toss, opt to bat against Afghanistan in Bengaluru; Afghanistan becomes 12th Test playing nation
08.55 IST: Pitch Report – Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar believes that the pitch at M Chinnaswamy Stadium has plenty of grass and will offer lots of lateral movement. Also, the overcast conditions might force the captain winning the toss to bowl first.
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 14, 2018
08.50 IST: Meanwhile, Afghanistan will be banking on their spinners to do the job against an Indian batting line-up, which has plenty of experience. In the build-up to the match, Afghan captain had said that his side has got better spinners than India. Here’s how India’s stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane responded.
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 14, 2018
08.45 IST: Well, it’s not just Afghanistan who would be jittery ahead of their maiden Test, hosts India too are facing some dilemma over their playing XI. Take a look: India’s selection headaches: Rahul vs Karun, Kuldeep as extra spinner?
08.30 IST: As Afghanistan is set to become the 12th Test playing nation, here’s Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wishing the Afghans.
I congratulate the people of Afghanistan as their cricket team plays their first international test match. Glad that they have chosen to play the historic match with India. Best wishes to both teams! May sports continue to bring our people closer and strengthen ties.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 14, 2018
Brief Preview: A new chapter is set to be scripted in the history of Test cricket as World No.1 Test team India set to host Afghanistan in their maiden International Test match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday (June 14). A ruthless India take on a war-ravaged yet resilient Afghanistan in a one-off Test. There is always a nervous anticipation associated with the performance of a new team but the politico-social narrative associated with Afghanistan gives the game a different context. On the surface, it is just another Test match but it is much beyond that. The Rashids, Mujeeb Zadrans and Mohammed Shahzads would like to put their best foot forward in trying to at least provide their countrymen a refuge in sporting success. India have been Afghanistan’s close allies and the BCCI has shown magnanimity in opening their stadiums so that the national team can practice. But come Thursday, Ajinkya Rahane’s India will not spare an inch as they are expected to put up a ruthless show. (READ FULL PREVIEW)