5 reasons why Afghanistan could be a threat to India
The story of cricket in Afghanistan has been the one for ages. 10 years back they were playing in Jersey as a participant of the fifth division in World Cricket League. Fast forward to 2018, and they are not only producing world class cricketers left and right, they not only have cricket's variant of the Holy Grail in form of Test status but have a maiden Test lined up against the most dominant red-ball side in the world, India.
Come June 14, it will be one of the biggest days in the history of sport in the war-torn nation of Afghanistan. In a country that has been inflicted with oppressive regimes from time to time, cricket is a major force of a calming routine as well as serves for a realm where the nation is in the headlines for all the reasons to be proud of. It will be right along with Shapoor Zadran roaring down on his knees as he hit the winning runs in Afghanistan's first ever World Cup triumph at the scenic Dunedin.
On an occasion where it might be hard to not get carried away by the enormity of the event, Afghanistan will have to hold their nerves as they will walk out on the field at the Chinnaswamy, as their performance in their first ever test might turnaround their fate for the good. With an umpteen reasons to play for, here are five of those which make Afghanistan an opponent to be wary of in their first ever test series.
The 'Underdogs' Tag
So many times does it happen in Test cricket that Goliath is caught unawares by the shrewdness of David and succumbs to a humbling result. Remember India at Lord's in 2014, or the even more extreme instance of Australia in Pune 2017? The pre-match build-up plays a huge role in how things sometimes pan out on the field. With the extreme influx of media, the players acquire some degree of permeability to the talk that goes on out in the world. With India constantly labeled as the favorites to win this match and Afghanistan's participation reduced to sheer novelty of a historic moment, the odds are heavily stacked against them.
In the ICC World T20 in India in 2016, they played very well in compatibility with the label of underdogs that they possessed. In the group stages, they gave both South Africa and England brief periods of scare before overhauling the best side and eventual winners of the competition, Windies.
Put in a similar situation again, they have nothing to lose and everything to gain from putting on a decent show in India, and with the first couple of sessions going their way, who knows what might happen?