India vs Afghanistan 2018, One-off Test: Afghanistan’s Predicted XI
Afghanistan is all set to appear in their maiden Test against India starting on Thursday at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
It will be a historic moment for the Afghan boys. In the last few years, they have grown steadily through the ranks and hence have got their opportunity at the highest level.
It will be a huge test to the debutants. On their day, Afghanistan has some players who can pose a serious threat to India.
With the Test match to start in less than a few hours time, let us have a look at the Predicted XI of Afghanistan
He is an impressive young batsman who also opens in the limited-overs format. He has modeled his game on Michael Vaughan, the former English skipper.
Despite not playing the aerial shots as much as his teammates, Ahmadi still manages to score at a brisk pace in the limited-overs format. He has played ten first-class matches so far scoring 555 runs at an average of 32. He has also smashed a couple of centuries and three fifties during his career.
The heavily built wicket-keeper batsman Shehzad has one of the pillars in the Afghanistan batting line-up.
He has batted quite sensibly in the limited-overs format. On his day, Shehzad can smash the big shots on a consistent basis. He will look to replicate his form in Tests.
Shehzad is also a pretty safe wicket-keeper behind the stumps. He has played 20 first-class games so far scoring 1582 runs at a staggering average of 54.55. It includes the highest score of 214 and four centuries and nine fifties.
The 24-year old top-order batsman is another important member of the Afghanistan side. He has a pretty impressive record for the national side in limited-overs cricket.
He has scored 1497 runs at an average of 38. Rahmat has played 13 first-class matches and has scored 741 runs in the process at an average of 49.40. He will look to make a memorable beginning to his Test career.
One of the most experienced players in the Afghanistan side, Asghar Stanikzai is one of the pillars of Afghan batting line-up.
He has been around for a long time and has played the most number for first-class matches. He had led the limited-overs side quite admirably.
However, he is well aware of the fact that the challenge in Test cricket will be different. He has played 23 first-class matches scoring 1421 runs at an average of 44.40.
The middle-order batsman in all likelihood will be part of the playing XI. The 24-years old hasn’t been a regular feature in the limited-overs side for Afghanistan.
However, given his abilities, Nasir has been selected in the Afghan squad for the one-off Test.
Jamal has been a part of 11 first-class matches and has scored 539 runs at an average of 38.50.
The most experienced all-rounder has seen the rise of Afghanistan cricket from pretty close quarters. Nabi has been an asset to Afghanistan ever since they started playing professional cricket.
His batting lower down the order to go with his handy off-breaks has made him an integral member of the side over the years. He has been quite successful as an all-rounder in first-class cricket.
Nabi has played 32 first-class games bagging 86 wickets at an average of 22.37. He has also scored 1251 runs as a batsman. He has been quite effective lower down the order.
The wicket-keeper batsman hasn’t played any international cricket so far but has been designated, as the premier wicket-keeper for the longest format.
He might be the first Afghan player to make his Test debut before limited-overs. Sazai will look to make a memorable start against the No 1 side in the world.
The 19-year-old leg-spinner has been quite a sensation in the limited-overs format. There is no doubt about the fact that Rashid is the best spinner in the shortest format.
However, it remains to be seen whether he can replicate his sensational run in the longest format. He was quite brilliant in the Indian Premier League and followed it up with a Man of the Series-winning performance in the three-match T20I series against Bangladesh.
He is quite an effective batsman too and can chip with some useful runs lower down the order.
The 23-year old Shirzad might be the lone pacer in the squad. The left-arm pacer has been around the circuit for quite a while.
However, he hasn’t played too much international cricket for Afghanistan. He has played 15 first-class matches so far bagging 49 wickets at an impressive average of 25.38.
The youngster will look to make his Test debut a memorable one.
The 17-year old mystery spinner is another stunning addition to the Afghanistan senior side. He impressed all and sundry during his tenure with the Kings XI Punjab in IPL.
The delivery with which he castled Virat Kohli is one of the best deliveries of the tournament along with a few others of his national teammate Rashid Khan.
He has several variations up his sleeve and could pose a threat or two to the experienced Indian batting line-up.
The 19-year old bowls left-arm chinaman which completes a set of spin bowlers for Afghans. He has played quite a bit of four-day cricket.
Hence, he should be included in the playing XI. He can toss the ball and can get the ball a rip in helpful spinning conditions. The youngster is eagerly looking forward to the challenge.