Shikhar Dhawan hits a century

Shikhar Dhawan hits a century

Afghanistan suffered a chastening start to Test cricket in Bengaluru with Shikhar Dhawan becoming the first Indian to score a century before lunch on day one of a Test before the visitors launched a late fightback.

At the lunch break, Murali Vijay (41 not out) and Dhawan (104 not out) went back intact, leaving Afghanistan to rethink over their strategies in their first ever Test.

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

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.

"It s a great moment for us as we embark on our Test journey", said Stanikzai, who has been a member of the Afghanistan side since they gained one-day global status in 2009.

It will be a historic moment for Asghar Stanikzai's team when they step out on Thursday for their maiden five-day outing against the world's number one Test side.

Stanikzai agreed that there was a difference between playing a T20 and a Test match.

The openers had no difficulty in negotiating the Afghan spinners as Shikhar went hammer and tongs and the bowler to suffer most was IPL hero Rashid Khan.

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Khan was one of the three Afghan players in this year's Indian Premier League - Pakistani cricketers are now systematically barred from IPL - and proved one of its most unsafe bowlers.

Having played worldwide games in Noida and Dehradun, along with countless IPL matches, should make the conditions they will face in Bangalore familiar to the Afghanistan players. It will be an interesting start of the long worldwide season for Team India as they welcome Afghanistan to the Test arena.

Afghanistan, who became the 12th test playing nation, clawed their way back in the final session at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium with some lion-hearted efforts by the bowlers against their top-ranked hosts.

Conflict has scarred virtually every member of the team and they are impoverished compared with their opponents, the world s wealthiest cricket nation. "May the best team win!"

"But no amount of war stopped me from sneaking out to play cricket with my brothers".

"Ashwin, Jadeja, and Kuldeep are all experienced and quality spinners".

The match is a milestone for Afghanistan whose sportsmen have persevered, despite conflict and tough conditions at home, to emerge on the global cricketing arena.

India also have a couple of new players in their squad, which will make Rahane's task of fielding the right combination a bit hard. Simmons has had the experience of coaching minnows like Zimbabwe and Ireland but he does find Afghanistan as the most enriching experience purely in terms of talent in store.

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