Afghanistan will make their international Test debut against India, the world’s top-ranked team, in Bengaluru starting June 14. Afghanistan, who have established themselves as a force to reckon with in the shorter formats, will face new challenges in the longest format of the game.
Ahead of the historic Test, India captain Ajinkya Rahane said that it is a historic moment for the Afghan side and also an opportunity for the hosts to be a part of the occasion. “It’s a privilege to be playing in Afghanistan’s first Test match. It’s a historic moment for them and an opportunity for us to be part of the occasion,” Rahane was quoted as saying by the ICC in a release.
“They have a fine team and some talented players who have proved themselves in shorter formats. I’m sure they are looking forward to do the same in Test cricket. On behalf of the Indian team, I wish them all the best,” Rahane further added.
Afghanistan became the 12th side to figure in men’s Test cricket after Ireland debuted against Pakistan last month. Both Ireland and Afghanistan were granted Full Member and Test status last June.
Commenting on the historic Test, Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai said, “It’s a great moment for us as we embark on our Test journey. To be playing our first Test against India is a great honour and we hope to give a good account of ourselves.”
“To be competing against the best on the Test rankings table is something to be proud of and we will try to do our best in whatever chances we get and exhibit the skills the players possess individually as well as collectively as a team,” Stanikzai remarked.
The one-off Test against India will be Afghanistan’s first step towards being ranked on the ICC Test Team Rankings and a chance for the players to enter the individual rankings after making a mark in limited overs cricket.
Should India lose the encounter, they will lose three points. However, their number-one position is under no threat, courtesy to a 13-point lead over South Africa.