Indian Cricket Fever
Afghanistan Prepare for Maiden Test By Mauling Banglas
By Gaurang
June 6 2018

Afghanistan, the newest Test nation prepares to take on the World No. 1 Test team in its own backyard in about a week.  The venue will be the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Bengaluru.  The recent history of the ground is that it has been evenly helpful to batsmen and bowlers, spinners and pacers... Afghanistan who have been playing in northern India as their "home" location are quite familiar with Indian conditions.  The squad is as follows.

Test Squad: Asghar Stanikzai (capt), Javed Ahmadi, Ihsanullah, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Nasir Jamal, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afsar Zazai, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Amir Hamza, Sayed Shirzad, Yamin Ahmadzai, Wafadar, Zahir Khan

It is a pretty balanced team with a strong spin contingent.  India will be wise not to underestimate the Afghans (what is their official nickname?) in light of the tremendous form they have shown in dispatching the much more internationally exprienced Bangladesh team in the three T20I series which bizzarely was the warm-up for their maiden appearence in Test cricket.

The weather, this being the start of the Monsoon season, may also play a part.  Remember a few years ago the match against SA was almost totally washed out... though that was in November, so not really Monsoon.   Anyway, Fans of Indian Test cricket will be anticipating this historic match and hoping for a win no doubt for the home team, even in the absence of its regular captain Virat Kohli.   Of course, sentimental sorts will also be hoping that the Afghans have a good debut, just like the Irish did a few weeks ago.

It is indeed exciting that the Test family now has expanded to a dozen nations.