Afghanistan announce squad for India Test
The Afghanistan national team announced its squad for the one-off Test against India, the country's first-ever Test match. Led by Asghar Stanikzai, the 16-man squad was announced a couple of weeks before the start of the Test.
The game is scheduled to take place in Bengaluru from 14-18 June.
The Afghanistan team became the 12th Test playing nation last year after they were awarded Test status by the ICC, along with Ireland. The Irish team also played their maiden Test recently, against Pakistan at Malahide.
The side features three players who were part of the just-concluded 2018 Indian Premier League; while Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi represented the Sunrisers Hyderabad, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman was part of the Kings XI Punjab.
Rashid Khan had a tremendous IPL season this year, the 19-year-old picked up 21 wickets from 17 games and had a strike-rate of 190.32 with the bat. Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, the 17-year-old mystery spinner, started off well for the Kings XI Punjab but had to miss the final chunk of the season due to injury to his right hand.
Their teammate, the 33-year-old Nabi, played just two games this season.
Pacer Dawlat Zadran was ruled out of the Afghanistan squad after suffering a knee injury during his team's practice at Dehradun.
The Indian team will be led by Ajinkya Rahane in the absence of Virat Kohli, who will be undergoing recuperation at the NCA after having advised rest. The 29-year-old Kohli was slated to play County cricket in Surrey, but a neck injury forced him out of his maiden stint.
The rest of the Indian team, a full-strength squad barring their regular captain, has Shardul Thakur in the squad, who is yet to play a single Test.
Here's the Afghanistan squad for the Test:
Asghar Stanikzai (c), Mohd Shahzad, Javed Ahmadi, Ihsanullah Jannat, Rahmat Shah, Nasir Jamal, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afsar Zazai, Mohd Nabi, Rashid Khan, Zahir Khan, Hamza Hotak, Syed Sherzad, Yamin Ahmadzai, Wafadar Momand, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman