History-making Afghanistan strike back after Dhawan ton in debut Test

Karun Nair India Ranji Trophy

Debutants Afghanistan clawed back with five wickets in the final session to spoil India's run feast, built on rollicking centuries from openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay as the hosts reached 347/6 at stumps on the opening day of the one-off Test here on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan became the 12th Test-playing nation after getting the Test status in June, last year.

India, the No 1 Test side, will be without skipper Virat Kohli, who will undergo a fitness test on Friday.

In a tweet, PM Modi wrote, "I congratulate the people of Afghanistan as their cricket team plays their first global test match".

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 previous year.

But the home side have to be a little conscious that they don't slip on a potential banana skin as they come into the game without any match practice. "We like the bowling options in our squad and hope our team come out on top", he said. It is the inaugural cricket test match being played by war-ravaged Afghanistan.

Afghanistan's captain Asghar Stanikzai said morale among team members was good and they were positive. that no disrespect to Afghanistan though. We are not thinking about Afghanistan as well: "yes, we respect them as our opponent but it's important for us to go out there and give more than our 100 per cent", said the batsman.

Several Afghan cricket players received training and coaching from Indian coaches in their formative years.

With the Chinnaswamy track offering a bit of movement for the quicks, and some spin for the slower bowlers, the left-hander looked unperturbed as he took Rashid for three consecutive boundaries, including a six before launching the Mujeeb for another three back to back fours. It was Dhawan's 7th Test century in 30 matches. Regardless of the format, fireworks is the word readily associated with Afghanistan, as it begins its new journey by playing India, the top-ranking team in the ICC Test ranking. A win or loss is a different matter; whoever plays well will win. We don't want to take anyone lightly, but we're lucky to be part of this historic first Test.

"We all know the stats but we don't focus on them". In March, the teenager became the fastest bowler to reach 100 one-day worldwide wickets, and is now the world's top-ranked Twenty20 bowler.

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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