Afghanistan thrashed by India on Test debut


The Indian team beat Afghanistan by an innings and 262 runs, thus giving them a rather brutal welcome to Test cricket.

Cricket has become the national sport of the country torn apart by decades of war but the first five-day game turned into a Test of fire for the Afghans.

Ravindra Jadeja took 6-35 over the two Afghanistan innings and was well supported by Ravichandran Ashwin, whose five wickets cost 59 runs. They survived just 27.5 overs in the second session in Bangalore.

Earlier, India folded up for a substantial 474 in their first innings after Afghanistan cleaned up the remaining four wickets at the stroke of lunch.

While Ashwin and Umesh earned memorable records, debutant Afghanistan's Rashid Khan acquired an unwanted record of becoming the most expensive bowler in an innings in a team's inaugural Test. As a Test team bowling unit, you take a backseat and be defensive for some period of time and if you get one or two wickets, then you can again attack, that's what they did in third session. Yes, we were surprised by how quickly things ended because we were a good team. "Disappointed with the batting, but it is good for the future".

"It's a mountain to climb. It is always an honour to lead your country and we wanted to be ruthless", said Rahane, who captained India in regular skipper Virat Kohli's absence. "I believe that they will get there".

Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay hit centuries for India, while Hashmatullah Shahidi top scored for Afghanistan with 36 in the second innings. Hardik Pandya smashed 71 runs off 94 balls including 10 boundaries.

India stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane believed better days were ahead for Afghanistan.

What impressed Rahane most about the way Afghanistan played in this game was the bowling, which he singled out multiple times. "It's just the beginning for them", Rahane told reporters.

It was the same mental aspect of the game that cost Afghanistan in this game, according to Simmons."I will blame 30 per cent on the occasion", he said when asked about it but added,"And I blame a lot more on the naivety of what Test cricket is about. If they get mentally tough and fine tune their technique, it will be good", he said. Test cricket is about attitude and patience. The same he said for the spinners: "I don't think they by no means happy with how they performed".

After learning cricket in refugee camps in Pakistan, Afghanistan have made giant strides, gaining one-day global status in 2009 and qualifying for their second 50-over World Cup in England and Wales next year.