Rahane insists India won’t take Test debutants Afghanistan lightly

Rahane insists India won’t take Test debutants Afghanistan lightly

Stanikzai had earlier said that the Afghan spinners were better than the Indian spinners.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday he hoped a historic cricket match between India and Afghanistan would strengthen ties between the South Asian neighbours and allies in the fight against militancy in the region.

Dhawan's unbeaten 104 is the second-most runs by an Indian player before lunch on any day of a Test after Hardik Pandya's 108 runs against SL in Pallekele previous year. However, it should also be noted that Dhawan scored his runs with the same aggressive approach in the first session.

While India ruled the roost in most parts of the three sessions, Afghanistan had their moments in the second and final session with the wickets of Dhawan (107), and the quick dismissals of Vijay (105) and Lokesh Rahul (54) off consecutive overs.

"These achievements have come about in challenging and hard circumstances".

Seasoned opener Shikhar Dhawan smashed a quickfire century to help India pile 158/0 at lunch in the lop-sided opening session on day 1 of the one-off Test against debutants Afghanistan at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Dhawan looked in sublime touch right from the start, punishing the pace duo of Yamin Ahmadzai and Wafadar for glorious boundaries before sending his Sunrisers Hyderabad teammate Rashid Khan to the cleaners. With an over before lunch, Dhawan completed 7th Test century and became first to do so against Afghanistan off just 87 balls.

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"The whole world knows that (we have good spinners like) Rashid Khan, Mujeeb, Nabi, Rahmat Shah, Zahir Khan", Stanikzai was quoted as saying by ESPN. He targeted Mohammad Nabi hammering a six and four. While Dhawan's 91-ball unbeaten effort contained 19 fours and three massive sixes, Vijay's watchful innings came off 72 deliveries and comprised six fours and a six.

Rahane, who captained Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, said it was important now for his team's players to switch mentally from T20 mode to playing in the longest format.

India won the toss and chose to bat, making a strong start in the maiden five-day test match in the Indian city of Bengaluru, attended by top government officials from both sides.

Awarded full member status by the International Cricket Council (ICC) alongside Ireland a year ago, Afghanistan became the 12th test-playing nation after first being recognised by the ICC in 2001.

India playing 11: Murli Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane (capt), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav.

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