How all the nations fared on their Test debut
The Afghanistan national team are in India to play their first Test match, at Bengaluru’s M. Chinnaswamy Stadium from 14 to 18 June. With this, they stand to become only the 12th nation to play Test cricket. For a nation that only became an affiliate member in 2001 and an associate member in 2013, this feat is pretty remarkable.
Having become a full member in 2017, the Afghanistan National cricket team has moved up the cricketing ladder at lightning-fast pace. Yet, they probably face their most daunting challenge yet, starting 14 June. Playing against the No. 1 ranked Test team in the world, a side that has grown to become practically invincible at home, Afghanistan will have to be up for the challenge from the moment the game starts, against a very sharp Indian unit.
Ajinkya Rahane will be leading the hosts in Virat Kohli’s absence while the visitors will be skippered by Asghar Stanikzai. The visitors, who were awarded Test status by the ICC in June 2017, are coming into this one-off test on the back of a 3-0 series whitewash of the Bangladesh team in a T20 International series played in India.
While Afghanistan can now boast of some sort of pedigree in the shorter formats of the game, how they adapt to the grueling nature of Test cricket is yet to be seen. As star Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan summarised, it would be a true ‘test’ of patience for the young cricketing nation, and definitely “will be a big day for cricket in Afghanistan”.
While Afghanistan ready themselves for their first ever Test match, let us take a closer look at how all debuting nations have fared in their opening Test matches, starting from the inaugural Test between Australia and England (March 1877) to the match between Ireland and Pakistan (May 2018).
Debuting nations have never won a Test match, barring the opener between Australia and England, and most nations have played their first ever Test match against the English (6), followed by India (3). Afghanistan becomes the 4th nation to start their Test history against the Indian national team.