India is set to lock horns with Afghanistan in a one-off Test in Bengaluru on 15th June. It seems debutantes Afghanistan have already started playing mind games. Captain Asghar Stanikzai feels the visiting spinners are better than Indian spinners. Well, that is a massive statement to make when you are playing India in India. They are considered to be the masters of playing spinners.
In a statement to ESPNCricinfo, he said, “Great preparation for the Test match against India — the morale is high. Last couple of years we have performed well. We want to achieve it for Afghanistan. You see the batsmen, bowlers are all in good form.”
Adding further he said, “In Afghanistan, the brilliant thing is that a lot of the young talent that is coming through are spinners because they all follow Rashid, they follow Nabi, so because of that our spin department is very strong from below. In my opinion, we have good spinners, better spinners than India.”
Well, the statement is not all that wrong considering the form of Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman and Nabi. Yet, it is a big statement to make considering they are debutantes in this format and India is a former number one side. Also, this statement goes to show the level of confidence the Afghanistani player have after their clean sweep against Bangladesh.
They certainly are the rising cricketing nation. They have also qualified for the upcoming 2019 Cricket World Cup, is just a testament to the earlier statement. Rashid Khan is also the number one T20I bowler in the world and has a lot of experience playing in India which should be an added advantage.
Meanwhile, Indian regular captain, Virat Kohli will not feature in the historic Test due to a neck injury. Due to the neck injury, he also has to skip the scheduled County season with Surrey CC. Ajinkya Rahane would be the stand-in captain for the historic Test.
Meanwhile, the Indian team is set to undergo a fitness test, called ‘yo-yo’ test. One has to pass the test to qualify for selection for the final squad. Injured Wriddiman Saha has been replaced by Dinesh Karthik.
He is on the path to recovery and we are hoping he will be fully fit ahead of the English tour.