Afghanistan is all set to make their Test debut against India at Bengaluru, later this year. The Test will most likely be played from June 14 and 18. Both the respective cricket boards confirmed this decision on Tuesday (January 16). Afghanistan has achieved admirable growth since gaining full ODI status in 2011. They may not have made the all-important World Cup cut in 2011, but they ensured they did it in 2015. Since there has been no looking back. But with Indian captain most likely to miss that match, do you think it will impress the Afghanistan team? Well, who wants to play with a second-string side? No one!
According to the latest TOI reports, that is what it suggests. Well, the big reason behind this call is cited as the fact that India has a lot of assignments in 2018-19 leading to the all-important World Cup. The Indian captain has been playing non-stop cricket and has been having a maverick run as captain. Hence, in a bid to not wear-down Virat, BCCI may get lured into taking this step. According to the same reports, it seems India would be fielding a second-string XI.
Virat Kohli recently picked up the Man of the Series trophy after beating South Africa 5-1. He notched up the world record of being the only player to score more than 500 runs in a 5, 6 or a 7-match ODI bilateral series.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan got their Test status last year. Earlier, Afghanistan Cricket Board’s CEO Ashfaq Stanikzai said:
“We must thank BCCI for giving us this opportunity to play our inaugural Test. We respect their busy schedule and I am sure the fans of Afghanistan team will travel to Bengaluru to watch the game.”
Ireland was the other beneficiary to have been granted the Test status. The Irish team will play their 1st Test against a strong Pakistan side in the month of May.