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Afghanistan not nervous ahead of realising test dream: Stanikzai

17 June 2018

We have a young pacer (18-year-old Wafadar) to showcase in this game as well.

Come Thursday, cricketing history will be made when the Indian national side takes on Afghanistan's newly put-together team in their first Test match after the latter gained Test playing nation status a year ago.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said it is a matter of pride and honour for India to host Afghanistan's maiden Test match and paid tribute to the war-ravaged country's indomitable spirit.

Having played global games in Noida and Dehradun, along with countless IPL matches, should make the conditions they will face in Bangalore familiar to the Afghanistan players.

But growing up in a tough environment where such militant attacks were common did not deter spin sensation Khan.

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I hope they get to play a lot of Test cricket.

Awarded full member status by the International Cricket Council (ICC) alongside Ireland past year, Afghanistan became the 12th test-playing nation after first being recognised by the ICC in 2001.

They gained one-day worldwide status in 2009 and have qualified for their second 50-over World Cup to be held in England and Wales next year. It's been a highlight for ICC to have a Test nation in Afghanistan.

Official sources said the cricket event marks a successful culmination of India's sports diplomacy with Afghanistan which began after the fall of Taliban in 2001.

It also reached the Super Ten stage in the World T20 in 20016 and beat eventual champions West Indies in a league match.

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Lokesh Rahul, batting on 33, then joined Vijay to continue India´s momentum as they put on 80 runs between them before rain halted play for an early tea.

The wicket-keeper batsman said that Afghanistan's journey should be put into perspective simply because what the players have achieved in an environment of turmoil.

"Its a matter of great pride and enormous pleasure that Afghanistan has chosen to play its maiden Test match with India. They have a decent team. bowlers (are good)", he told reporters on the eve of the one-off Test.

Once the openers were gone, Rashid found his mojo and got to land his googlies consistently on good length troubling the middle order batsmen. As a Test team, we can not take anyone for granted because cricket is a amusing game.

On the surface, it is just another Test match but it is much beyond that. At the same time, we will not be taking them lightly. We had dignitaries from both the countries witnessing the game and many more following it across the globe.

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India, on the other hand, are most likely to call up their star spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, the world's fourth and fifth-ranked Test bowlers respectively. "Our spinners, Ashwin, Jadeja and Kuldeep are experienced and quality spinners".

Afghanistan not nervous ahead of realising test dream: Stanikzai