Cricbuzz Staff • Last updated on Fri, 15 Jun, 2018, 11:11 AM
Afghanistan had their fair share of ups and downs on the opening day of their inaugural Test © AFP
Hardik steers India
Hardik Pandya smashed Rashid Khan for three boundaries as he neared a vital fifty. He can certainly give it a thump while facing spin. India also crossed the 400-run mark. He soon reached his half-century with a slog sweep. Hardik has blended patience with aggression to compile an impressive fifty.
The visitors had a chance at the start of the day to bowl out their opponents for under 400 but they have been largely defensive.
Not a memorable debut
Despite the early morning moisture, Afghanistan continued to bowl with the old ball. Ahmzadzai, with his open-chested action, troubled Hardik and Ashwin, on occasions. Rashid, too, looked in decent rhythm.
Eventually, Ahmadzai dismissed Ashwin. The batsman, however, would be disappointed with the dismissal. It was short and wide and asking to be smashed but the batsman eked out an under edge. He could have also dismissed Jadeja with the one that nipped away from the left-hander but the ‘keeper Zazai fluffed the chance.
The wicket seems to have hardened up a bit. One can also see a few indentations, which makes it even more surprising that they continue to trust the old ball.
There is some early morning moisture around. So it might assist the pacers a bit. Surprisingly, Rashid Khan has the ball in hand, with Hardik facing him.
Opening day of your country’s Test debut. Afghanistan’s players must have felt a gamut of emotions – excitement, pride, nervousness – as they took the field, against India in Bengaluru. The point can be encapsulated by Ahmadzai who lost his run-up while trying to bowl his country’s first ball in Test cricket.
A few nerves would have certainly jangled and fingernails chewed in the camp. Maybe that nervousness led to Afghanistan losing the plot in the first two sessions in their maiden Test. Even their trump card Rashid Khan was all over the place. However, the pace duo of Wafadar and Ahmadzai bowled zest-filled spells to pick up three wickets between them and keep Afghanistan in the hunt. Rashid and Mujeeb also snared a scalp each in the final session as India ended the day on 347 for 6.
Meanwhile, for the formidable home side, it was all about Dhawan. He was in complete command against Afghanistan’s spin trio of Mujeeb, Rashid and Nabi as he galloped his way to a hundred before lunch on the opening day of a Test match – becoming the first Indian to do so. Murali Vijay, his opening partner, also compiled a steady hundred.
So can the visitors build on the good work of the final session of Day 1 or will India’s lower order batsmen add useful runs and pilot their side to a commanding position? We will have all the live updates coming your way in a short while from now.
On Day 1, there were a couple of interruptions due to rain. But for now, the weather looks promising.
It turned out to be a roller-coaster kind of a day for the newest member of Test cricket. Ganesh Chandrasekaran has more on the “Test infants”
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