'This Is Just The Beginning For Afghanistan': India's Captain

Ross Houston
June 16, 2018

"I believe, the team has the potential to emerge as a good Test-playing country but the task at its hands is like climbing a mountain", he told reporters after Afghanistan lost to India by an innings and 262 runs.

Afghanistan got off to a quick start before Indian pacemen Umesh Yadav, who notched his 100th test wicket, and Ishant Sharma sent the Afghan top order packing.

"But credit to Afghanistan, they were fantastic".

Test cricket's newest team were on the receiving end of some aggressive batting as Dhawan, who smashed 107, and Murali Vijay, who made 105, put on a 168-run opening stand after the hosts elected to bat first in Bangalore.

This is the first time a Test match has ended within two days in the sub-continent.

Most cricket-loving Afghans were watching the match on TV back home as they prepared for a three-day public holiday marking the Muslim festival of Eid. Simmons, however, remained optimistic about the current group."First, their learning curve is huge. Insha'Allah (God willing), we can do well", the 30-year-old batsman said.

"I have always believed winning and losing is part and parcel".

India managed to add 127 runs to their overnight total of 347/6, thanks to a brilliant half century from all-rounder Pandya (71) coupled with some cameos from the tailenders. However, he has seen this team learn a lot, and expected them to get to it. "In the last session yesterday, they took five wickets, they knew first two sessions they were attacking [too much] but Shikhar and Vijay were in a positive zone". It was just a beginning, for them.

Every batsman seemed to be on a limited overs mode without any respect for an aspect called patience which is an integral component of Test cricket. They tried their best.

"With their bowling, they can do a bit of damage to any other team".

"You can play as many four days matches, but facing number one team in the world has showed in a big way how competent Test cricket is", he said. "If two or three guys can bat for a long period then they can be a decent side", said India's stand-in skipper.

BOWLING (to-date): Yamin Ahmadzai 13-6-32-2 (1w); Wafadar 15-4-53-1 (1nb, 1w); Mohammad Nabi 8-0-45-0; Rashid Khan 26-2-120-1; Mujeeb-ur-Rahman 14-1-69-1; Asghar Stanikzai 2-0-16-0.

Afghanistan's Mohammad Nabi plays a sweep shot during the second day of their one-off cricket test against India in Bangalore.

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