Rahane insists India won’t take Test debutants Afghanistan lightly

Rex Christensen
June 14, 2018

"When I played with them (Afghanistan) in Ireland, it was a little more greener than this and it still turned", he said.

Preparation wise, Afghanistan picked two vastly different squads for the T20Is against Bangladesh and their inaugural Test.

"It's an honour for all of us (Indian team)". We have bowlers of similar ilk and they have been bowling at the batsmen.

"In Test cricket, throughout the five days every session matters a lot". The hosts will have their best spinners in the world - Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who have singlehandedly dominated on home turf adding much to the script of India's rise to the top spot in Test cricket. They are quality spinners, they back each other, they enjoy bowling with each other even in the nets and in the match. "We have to look and see what happens. but his professionalism will help him to adjust and am sure he will come out well". Yes, we respect them as our opponents but it's important for us to go out there and give more than our 100. The Rashids, Mujeeb Zadrans and Mohammed Shahzads would like to put their best foot forward in trying to at least provide their countrymen a refuge in sporting success.

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"Getting back to Test mode from T20 is about tuning our minds rather than focusing on skills". And their recent performance against Bangladesh must have boosted their confidence. Along with the anticipation, there will also be a twinge of regret, mixed with some relief.

The live telecast of the India vs Afghanistan one-off Test match will begin at 9.30 am IST every morning. We don't beat Virat. "So we are disappointed he is not playing, but little bit happy that we are not going to bowl to him all the time. Virat is not India".

While majority of the sports fans, in soul and spirit, will be in Russian Federation enjoying the surreal skills of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the eternal cricket romantic will try to derive his little pleasures of life watching Rashid Khan trying to hurry Shikhar Dhawan with a flipper or bowl a googly to Ajinkya Rahane.

Khan, the top T20 bowler in ICC rankings, took the Indian Premier League by storm with his 21 wickets for runners-up Sunrisers Hyderabad, and mystery spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman also impressed in the cash-rich tournament.

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