Asghar Stanikzai India Afghanistan Bangladesh Rashid Khan Bengaluru 2018
Asghar Stanikzai © Getty Images (file photo)

Fresh from a 3-0 whitewash of Bangladesh in the just-concluded T20 International series, an upbeat Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai cautioned India ahead of the solitary Test at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru from June 14. Newly-promoted Afghanistan will make their Test debut against top-ranked India, who will be led by Ajinkya Rahane in the absence of Virat Kohli. Stanikzai is confident that the recent drubbing of Bangladesh has lifted the morale of the side, despite the win coming in the shortest format of the game.

“[It has been] great preparation for the Test match against India. The morale is high,” Stanikzai said after Afghanistan pipped Bangladesh by 1 run in the third and final T20I here on Thursday. Afghanistan had beaten Bangladesh by 45 runs and 6 wickets. “[Over the] last couple of years we have performed well. We want to achieve it for Afghanistan. You see the batsmen, bowlers are all in good form.”

Rashid Khan, spearhead of the Afghan attack, looks forward to the day when Afghanistan set foot at Chinnaswamy as the 12th Test-playing nation: ”Full credit to my fitness. If you’re fit, you can deliver in any department. It doesn’t matter whether I’m playing in league cricket or the national team, I just want to enjoy.”

Rashid finished the series with figures of 11-0-49-8. He was supported capably by the other spinners, Mujeeb Zadran (who opened bowling for his 12-0-60-2) and Mohammad Nabi (12-0-60-4). With a seemingly indecipherable googly, Rashid has emerged as the poster boy of leg-spin in international cricket. A haul of 35 First-Class wickets from 4 matches at a shade over 15 bears testimony to his red-ball bowling.

(with inputs from IANS)