India vs Afghanistan Test Captain Asghar Stanikzai Playing Down Cricketer Virat Kohli’s Absence: Afghanistan will make history on June 14 when they face India in Bengaluru to take their place as only the 12th Test nation. The one-off Test between India vs. Afghanistan will cap one of the excellent sports a fairy tales after players from the war-torn nation rose from refugee camps to join cricket’s elite.
India vs Afghanistan Test Captain Asghar Stanikzai Playing Down Cricketer Virat Kohli’s Absence
However, India skipper Virat Kohli will be absent from the historic Test, and having opts for a county stint with Surrey to prepare for India’s all-important tour of England.
Not wants to delve too much into the matter, Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai plays down Indian skipper’s absence saying that Team India has the other players that play at the level of Virat Kohli.
All Indian players are good, and everyone is similar standard to Virat Kohli. I believe that we are playing with the Team India and not with Virat Kohli, says Stanikzai.
Even without Kohli, Afghanistan seems unlikely to trouble the world’s number one Test side, but Stanikzai says the conditions will suit his team.
Indian conditions are right for the spin, and we are lucky to have good spinners, says Stanikzai.
Our batsmen are in good form. In the last three or four years, our team combination is excellent. We will try and play good and positive cricket.
Winning and losing did not matter.
Not just cricketing history beckons for the country’s cricket stars but it will be a matter of bringing happiness to a nation torn and pounded by decades of conflict.
As Islamist attacks regularly shake their homeland, Stanikzai says his team is suffering too but are also motivates to give the country something to cheer.
It is tough. We get unfortunate when we hear about attacks in our country, Stanikzai tells AFP at the team’s training base near Delhi.
But we don’t lose our morale; we will try even more to win because the whole nation will be waiting for us to win, the entire country will be thrilled when we will win.
Stanikzai, 30, adds with a smile, that our wins give energy to the Afghan nation. We will try to change their sorrow to happiness.
Afghanistan secured their prestigious Test status last year along with Ireland, who are playing their debut five-day match against Pakistan in Dublin.
Since gaining ODI status in the year 2009, the Afghans have made giant strides, reaching the 50-over World Cup for the first time since the year 2015.
It is no flash in the pan Afghanistan also qualified for next year’s World Cup by topping the 10-team qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe, beating West Indies in the final.
From refugees to world-beaters
After a generation of Afghans learned cricket in refugee camps in Pakistan, the game has quickly taken hold, and domestic competitions include a prestigious T20 tournament which began in the year 2013.
Afghan cricketers are also becoming world-beaters, with the prolific teenage spinner Rashid Khan now he is one of the sport’s hottest properties.
In March, the 19-year-old became the fastest bowler to reach 100 one-day international wickets, and he is currently the world’s top-ranked bowler in T20 Internationals.
Khan, one of a handful of Afghan players in the Indian Premier League 2018, has one of the competition’s best bowlers with 13 wickets after SunRisers Hyderabad snapped him up for USD 1.41 million.
But Stanikzai said that as well as Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who is also impressing in the Indian Premier League, Afghanistan has even more talented spinners waiting to emerge.
Rashid and Mujeeb have performed well, and it is a proud moment for us. But we also have better spinners in Afghanistan, says Stanikzai.
We have a lot of good spinners in Afghanistan, like Qais Ahmad and other spinners who will do better than Rashid,” he adds.
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