Five Afghan greats who could not play their country's first test match
In spite of how it eventually turned out, Afghanistan's test debut will be a moment to remember not just in the cricketing chronology, but in the nation's history as well. In Test cricket, sides aren't often dealt with, with sympathy but an exception can be made for test cricket's newest entrants, Afghanistan. For a session and a half in the second phase of their bowling, it felt like they had found their ground, but then their batting crumbled twice in a single day to hand India their quickest ever win and also their biggest victory margin in Test cricket.
Nevertheless, with more cricket against the upper tier sides and perhaps a few tours of those countries contesting matches against the A-sides, as suggested by Afghanistan's coach Phil Simmons, they will surely get better and will look more adjusted to the format of the game with time.
Having gotten the monkey of debuting off their backs, they can optimistically look at future, and in what is still the highest peak of their cricketing journey so far, it is also important to look at the past. In the last decade and a half, a lot of cricketers have helped them get to where they are, but many of those greats could not be a part of the historic test at the Chinaswamy, here are five of those.
#5 Nawroz Mangal
The man who symbolized the grit Afghanistan would go on to be a personification of, Mangal was a presence in the Afghan batting order for the better part of eight years and was an important figure in their meteoric rise. Taking over the captaincy in 2007, in just two years he made his country the first affiliate member to attain ODI status.
Leadership roles were then on and off for Mangal, as he turned into a reliable figure batting Afghanistan out of situations where the more flashy and rather belligerent players of the side floundered. He was a part of the sides that made history by participating in the ICC World T20 and the ICC World Cup. Unfortunately, though, he was past his prime and his cricket career a dormant chapter when Afghanistan played their first test, his respectable first-class average of 37.81 testifies to the fact that he would have been an actual valuable addition, not just picked out of sheer nostalgia.