Afghanistan is all set to tour India to play one-off Test in the month of June. The test will be a historic occasion for Afghanistan who is all set to make their debut game against India. Earlier, Afghanistan also attained the full-membership status along with Ireland conferred by ICC last year. Ireland put in a decent performance in their debut game against Pakistan played at Malahide Cricket Club, Dublin earlier this month.
The one-off Test will be played at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru from 14th to 19th June. Afghanistan has done really well in the shorter formats of the game over past couple of years. Asghar Stanikzai and co. will be keen to put in a commendable effort against a formidable side like India in India.
There will be no Virat Kohli for India for this one-off game as BCCI announced a 16-man squad for the contest. Ajinkya Rahane will lead the side for this game. India will rely on the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, and Cheteshwar Pujara to do the bulk of the scoring.
It will be a great opportunity for Lokesh Rahul and Karun Nair to make an impression in this game. Nair, who smashed a triple century against England in 2017, was dropped from the side for unknown reasons. Rahul also will be keen to cement his place in the lineup after having a great IPL season for Kings XI Punjab.
Wriddhiman Saha has been ruled out of the one-off against Afghanistan due to an injury. Lokesh Rahul might replace Saha in the final XI. Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur will also be keen to make an impact with the ball against Afghanistan. India will be relying on their premier spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravendra Jadeja to most of the damage with the ball. The fast bowlers might not play a major role in this game as pitch prepared for the game might assist the spinners from the word go.
The visitors have already adjusted to the conditions in India as they currently playing in a three-match T20 series against Bangladesh. It is going to be an interesting battle to watch between Indian batsmen against the Afghanistan spin duo of Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Asghar Stanikzai, Mohammad Shehzad, and Rahmat Shah will have to bulk of the scoring for the side. Mystery spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman has also been included in the Test squad following his tremendous success in the recently concluded Indian Premier League. The off-spinner exceeded expectations and trouble opposing players with his bag of tricks. Afghanistan certainly has the firepower to push India close in their debut game at Bengaluru. They do have players like Hamza Hotak, Rahmat Shah, Mohammad Shahzad and Rashid Khan who can certainly make an impact with bat and ball for Afghanistan in this debut game.
It will be interesting to see how India goes as they have played five-day cricket since the tour to South Africa earlier this year. Ajinkya Rahane will be focused to make India got off to the right start in the one-off Test against Afghanistan