Mujeeb was playing his first match after returning from a hand injury that kept him out of the final stages of the IPL where he had picked up 14 wickets for Kings XI Punjab, while Rashid was looking to continue his fine form which saw him snare 21 wickets for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Both leg-spinners were in top form against the Tigers as they bowled the ‘visitors’ out for 122 in 19 overs in their new ‘home’ ground of Dehradun.
Mujeeb dismissed opener Tamim Iqbal lbw off the first ball of the innings and finished with 1-20 while Rashid was nearly unplayable, picking up 3-13 from three overs.
I'd be surprised if @rashidkhan_19 doesn't take a 5-fer in his debut Test vs India. This despite the Indians playing him in the IPL.— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) May 31, 2018
The Indian team management will have a lot on their plate as they formulate a plan to tackle the spinners who will be the main threat when the two teams clash in Afghanistan’s inaugural Test in Bengaluru on June 14.
India will be without regular captain Virat Kohli and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha. The Indians will be led by Ajinkya Rahane who is more comfortable against pace than spin, which means a big chunk of India’s batting will find the going tough.
Moreover, Rashid and Mujeeb dismissed India’s premier batsmen through classic Test dismissals during the IPL. Both spinners bowled Kohli through the gate while KL Rahul and MS Dhoni also lost their woodwork to clever bowling from Rashid. The three are some of the best players of spin so expect the pressure to intensify when they have the red ball in hand.
Dehradun is Afghanistan’s second ‘home’ base in India after Greater Noida, near the national capital of New Delhi.
Afghanistan are scheduled to play India in their inaugural Test in Bengaluru on June 14.
Recently, the BCCI announced that all international teams visiting India will play one practice game against Afghanistan to provide regular international exposure to the team.
Dehradun is the second ‘home’ base provided to Afghanistan by the Indian cricket board after Greater Noida, near the national capital New Delhi. The venue will host three T20 matches from June 3-7.
The Afghans play their first-ever Test against India in Bengaluru on June 14, making the T20 series the only meaningful preparation for the match.
Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons admitted it’s not the best way to prepare for their five-day debut but said the players need to get on with it.
“It has been difficult with the T20 and Test squads training at the same time. But it is getting a bit easier as we are coming up to the game. That is how tours are planned now. You usually have Test matches first and then limited over series or vice versa. We just have to work around that,” Simmons was quoted as saying.
For the Afghans, spinners Rashid Khan and Mujeeb ur Rahman will be their main weapons. Both Mujeeb and Rashid had an outstanding IPL, finishing with 14 and 21 wickets respectively.
The pitch in Dehradun is on the slower side so expect both leg-spinners to inflict maximum damage in their eight overs. However, Mujeeb didn’t feature in the final stretch of the IPL after injuring his bowling hand and there is no clarity over his availability.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, will be without star pace bowler Mustafizur Rahman.
The Tigers called up medium pacer Abul Hasan to replace the Rahman who sustained a toe injury during in the IPL playing for Mumbai Indians.
Bangaldesh will have their task cut out as they will be playing against a side ranked two places higher than them (eighth) in the ICC rankings.
Afghanistan: Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Asghar Stanikzai (capt), Najeeb Tarakai, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Shafiqullah, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Gulbadin Naib, Aftab Alam
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Shakib Al Hasan (c), Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain, Abu Hider, Mehidy Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Nazmul Islam