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Afghanistan not nervous ahead of realising test dream - Stanikzai

16 Juin 2018

On a related note, India won the toss opted to bat first in the historic one-off Test match against Afghanistan at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday.

The damp and slippery conditions forced the Afghanistan players to retreat to the dressing room, denying them their full net session one final time before the D-Day arrived.

Yamin Ahmadzai took Afghanistan's first Test wicket by dismissing Dhawan for 107, with Vijay (105) second to fall. There's also the question of which two to pick from Murali Vijay, KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan. It was after all our first day playing Test cricket. Having two wristspinners themselves - Rashid and Zahir Khan - along with Mujeeb Ur Rahman's variations should help cope to an extent.

Preview: Statistically, it's a classic David vs Goliath showdown but contextually, it's the beginning of a historic new chapter in worldwide cricket as World No 1 India take on a war-ravaged-but-resilient Afghanistan in their first ever Test match on Thursday. "Rashid is one bowler, who can adjust (to the longer format), but test match is a different ball game", the former Mumbai batsman said. "It's a big moment for all and we'll take it from there", Stanikzai said.

Ahmadzai bowled Rahul, who dragged a delivery on to his stumps, and Wafadar trapped Vijay lbw to lift Afghan spirits.

Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) chief Atif Mashal also read out a statement from Afghanistan's president Ashraf Ghani.

"We know that right now, Rashid is the most hard spinner to play around".

"I think there will always be a bit of disappointment in the players not to be on the same field as Virat, but at the same time we look at it as win the Test match and beat India, we don't beat Virat", he said. According to another understanding reached last month, all teams touring India will now play one practice game against Afghanistan, an arrangement which will provide worldwide exposure to the team.

Led by Asghar Stanikzai, Afghanistan became the 12th test playing nation after being awarded the full member status alongside Ireland in June a year ago. But don't tell that to Stanizai, who says that his team's spin bowlers will outduel India's world-class veteran "spin twins, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, he boasted to the Times of India".

Since gaining one day worldwide status in 2009, the Afghans have made giant strides and qualified for their second 50-over World Cup in England and Wales next year. The same stadium, official sources said, has been lent to Afghanistan to serve as its official home ground where it can host global matches.

"The terror in our home area meant we did not have access to an education while growing up".

"But no amount of war stopped me from sneaking out to play cricket with my brothers".

Afghanistan not nervous ahead of realising test dream - Stanikzai