Everything you need to know about India vs Afghanistan
India and Afghanistan gear up for the one-off Test match in Bengaluru, starting Thursday. It is a historic moment for Afghanistan as they would become the 12th nation to play Test cricket. An epic battle is likely on the cards with a showdown between the Afghan spinners and the Indian batsmen. Here is everything you need to know about the Test match.
Rashid Khan-led Afghan spin trio look lethal
Afghanistan's spin trio of Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi bring in a lot of quality. Although they would be playing their first ever international Test match, they could still have a meaningful impact on the result. Mujeeb and Rashid excelled in IPL 2018. They know Indian conditions well. Their recent performances against Bangladesh would give them confidence to excel against Indians.
Indian batsmen have done well against spin at home
Traditionally, Indian batsmen have played well against spin. Further, they have won last six Test series at home. The only Test match where they struggled was against Australia at Pune in 2017. Having said that, a lot will depend on how the Indian opening batsmen perform and lay a platform. The likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane will look to dictate the middle-order.
What have the captains said?
Indian skipper Ajinkya Rahane wished Afghanistan all the best on behalf of the side. Rahane is also wary of the Afghans, who have already proved their mettle in the shorter formats. Afghan skipper Asghar said it's an honor to play their first Test against India as they hope to give a good account of themselves.
Conditions suited for spin
The pitch is set to be handy for spinners and both sides will look to exploit the conditions. Batsmen too will enjoy batting on the surface. It will be interesting to see whether the Indian spinners topple their Afghan counterparts.
A look at the squads
India: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, M Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Shardul Thakur. Afghanistan: Ashgar Stanikzai (captain), Mohammed Shahzad, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Ihsanullah Janat, Nasir Jamal, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afsar Zazai, Mohammed Nabi, Rashid Khan, Zahir Khan, Amir Hotak, Sayed Shirzad, Yamin Ahmadzai, Mujeeb.
When and where to watch the match?
The match starts on Thursday at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru. It is scheduled to start at 9:30 AM. The match will be telecast live on the Star Sports network and can be streamed live on Hotstar.