Dhawan ton dents Afghanistan's Test debut

KL Rahul Hardik Pandya Can

Ajinkya Rahane will skipper India in Kohli's absence in Bangalore, as Stanikzai leads Afghanistan's first venture into the Test arena on Thursday.

Led by Asghar Stanikzai, Afghanistan became the 12th test playing nation after being awarded the full member status alongside Ireland in June past year.

For the hosts sans regular skipper Virat Kohli, wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik made a comeback to the Test side after nearly eight years.

The left-hander has scored over 100 runs in a session before, though, doing so against Australia on debut in Mohali in 2013, and then against Sri Lanka in Galle a year ago. If Afghanistan are to challenge the hosts they will need to learn with each hour of the game. It was the first time the nation was playing a First-Class fixture against a strong Zimbabwe XI which had as much as 7 cricketers who went on to play Test cricket for Zimbabwe.

India will field an under-strength side in the one-off test as they have one eye fixed on the long worldwide schedule ahead.

The strife-torn nation secured Test status a year ago along with Ireland, who lost their debut match to Pakistan in Dublin last month.

Afghanistan are under no illusion about how the pitch will behave and expect India's three spinners to come hard at them.

As their first face-off began against the top-ranked Indian team, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in a message, "I am proud of the men who championed cricket in Afghanistan in the dawn of the century and believed in themselves that one day Afghanistan will play against the best in the world".

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Ashwin got rid of Yamin Ahmadzai and Mohammad Nabi in consecutive overs, and Jadeja dismissed Mujeeb Ur Rahman stumped just in time for tea.

The first session of the Chinnaswamy Stadium Test in Bengaluru truly belonged to India, thanks to a breezy hundred by opener Shikhar Dhawan.

"They are all good players and have good experience in Test cricket".

It also reached the Super Ten stage in the World T20 in 20016 and beat eventual champions West Indies in a league match. They expect us to perform well because recently Afghanistan performed really well in the T20Is and ODIs, and their expectation will be the same for the Test.

"We all know the stats but we don't focus on them".

"It's important we play our minds rather than skills, because getting back to Test from T20 cricket is all about tuning your mind rather than focusing on your skills".

After having dominated pacers at the start of the innings, Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai brought his veteran player Mohammad Nabi in order to introduce his spin attack in the 9th over and later his star leg-spinner Rashid Khan in the 14th over.

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