They tried their best. On day two, they miserably failed the Test batting examination when they lost 20 wickets in 66.3 overs, ending their debut match in two days. Your effort, attitude and intention should always be about winning but you get to learn plenty off the field as players, like respecting each other. While it is good to keep hitting an area outside the off-stump to induce a false shot from the batsman, hitting the seventh stump line ensured that even the inexperienced Afghanistan batsmen managed to happily see them go to the keeper. Last week they secured a T20 series sweep over Bangladesh helped by teen Indian Premier League (IPL) sensation Rashid Khan.
“We wanted to create such a pitch because we are going to play five Tests in England so that we could get practice as per what we are going to get in England, ‘ Rahane said”. Afghanistan, playing their first ever Test, gave a forgettable account of themselves, folding up in two sessions after managing totals of 109 and 103.
The match played between Windies and England in 2009 is the concerned one.
They could have done a lot of things differently during the course of the Test: bowlers could have been more disciplined, fielders should have shown more intent, and batsmen needed to show patience. There is no dearth of cricketers or stadia in India and the opportunity to host Afghanistan, the feel-good story of world cricket and the attendant good publicity that came with it, would have been snapped up by nearly any state cricket association in the country.
Afghanistan’s task became increasingly hard after they lost Mohammad Shahzad, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat and Afasr Zazai inside their opening 10 overs for just 35 runs. The Test match was called off due to wet outfield and adverse weather conditions. With their bowling, they can damage any team. Jadeja and Ashwin you all know how good they are.
Spinner R Ashwin ran through Afghanistan’s middle and lower order taking a 4 wicket haul.
“But it’s still a beginning”.
One fan tweeted: “Rahane has once again proved that India plays Cricket in Gentleman’s Way”. It is true that with only 12 teams, the tier system will make the games far too repetitive but that’s the only way the quality of the Test match can be immunised from compromise.
When the battle was won and it was time to rejoice, Rahane did not forget the rivals, who were in Test cricket for the first time.
Match Referee Alan Hurst decided the playing conditions were not suitable for the worldwide match.
But more than India’s phenomenal display on the field, a certain gesture from stand-in skipper, Ajinkya Rahane, showed us why the sport was the real victor in the clash.
“It was a good thing that we faced the world No. 1 Test side in our inaugural match”.
“We were swayed a bit by the occasion”, Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons said.