India vs Afghanistan, 2018: Afghanistan waste no time, hit strides under dark clouds in Bengaluru
The weather in the Garden City has not been the best off late, with constant rain dampening the mood of cricket lovers. Sunday was no different with dark clouds hovering above in the sky.
The covers were on at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru and at the adjoining National Cricket Academy.
However, despite the dark cloud cover and the constant drizzle, the Afghanistan cricket team, who are set to play their first ever Test against India in a few days, walked in on time for their practice session.
The session began with a huddle, with head coach Phil Simmons taking charge and giving the team a pep talk. Asghar Stanikzai, the captain of the side, spoke to the team after Simmons.
The team then went on with their regular routine, warming up with a large number of drills before going to the practice pitches.
After the brief warm-up, the batsmen padded up and took to the practice pitches to take on the bowlers. Two pitches were prepared - one for the fast bowlers and one for the spinners.
Rashid Khan, the leggie who has taken the world by storm with his performances for his national side and T20 sides around the world, was bowling along with Mohammed Nabi and Amir Hamza on one of the pitches.
On the other one were the fast bowlers bowling to wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammed Shahzad. He looked quite comfortable taking on the pace and was timing the ball quite well.
Stanikzai, who was taking on the spinners, defended most of the deliveries and had a bit of trouble facing Rashid.
What was surprising was that Mujeeb ur Rahman, the 19-year-old star was not practising on the same pitch as Rashid and Nabi. In fact, he was practising on a pitch on the side of the field along with the bowling coach.
All in all, the spirit amongst all the Afghanistan players was extremely high and they looked extremely confident.
The Indian cricket team will take the field tomorrow at 9:30 am for their practise session. As we all know, Virat Kohli will not be taking part in the Test due to his injury. Ajinkya Rahane will be captaining the side in his absence. Another player missing out through injury is Wriddhiman Saha, and Dinesh Karthik was named as his replacement. Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, too, will not be taking part in the Test.
The one-off Test between the two sides will be held at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru from June 14-18.