After waiting for a long time, Afghanistan finally realized their dream of playing Test cricket. The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was handed over the test status last year. They wanted to play their inaugural Test against India. The hosts have always helped them with cricketing infrastructure. Hence Afghanistan always wanted the historic moments against their loving neighbours. They proved their worth in the game especially in the final session after being taken to the cleaners in the first two sessions.
It was Indian skipper Ajinkya Rahane who won the toss and opted to bat. There were three openers in the team but the management and captain decided to go with Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan and accommodate KL Rahul at the No 3 position. It meant that Cheteshwar Pujara has to move down in the batting order.
Vijay and Dhawan began in a solid fashion. Both struck some delightful shots, to begin with. Dhawan, in particular, looked in great touch from the outset and took on the Afghan bowlers with disdain. He raced off to a sensational century and shared a 168 runs stand with Vijay. The southpaw was eventually dismissed by Ahmadzai as he attempted another attacking shot.
Murali Vijay also crossed a century but was dismissed soon after. The final session proved to quite decisive for the visitors. They bagged 5 wickets for just 99 runs courtesy some splendid bowling by the spinners and pacers combined. Rahul was dismissed after making a half-century while Puja fell to Mujeeb-ur Rahman in quick succession. It was a terrific catch by Mohammad Nabi in the leg slip which ended Pujara’s resistance.
Skipper AJinkya Rahane also fell to Rashid Khan. Afghanistan bagged one more wicket which was mainly due to the pressure applied by the bowlers. Dinesh Karthik came to the crease and the spinners were bowling in tandem. They kept on troubling Karthik with some brilliant deliveries. However, he succumbed to the pressure as he attempted a non-existent run.
He had to cover a huge ground and almost managed to complete the run. However, his bat was never grounded which brought an end to his innings. Karthik will be pretty disappointed to not make use of the opportunity he got in Test cricket after 8 years.
Here is the video of the run-out
— Arya Chakraborty (@AryaMady) June 14, 2018