In Focus: Analysis of Rashid Khan's performance against India on day one of Afghanistan's inaugural Test

Ashish Peter 14/06/2018
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Rashid had a baptism by fire in his debut Test.

Afghanistan became the 12th Test-playing nation in the history of cricket as they took the field for their inaugural match against India at Bengaluru on Thursday.

The visitors looked to be down and out for the most part of the day before bouncing back in the final session to reduce India to 347-6.

Afghanistan’s star man Rashid Khan picked up his debut Test wicket but went for a few runs early on.

Here, we take a closer look at the performance of the No1 ranked T20I bowler in the word on day one at Bengaluru.

STATISTICS

OVERS BOWLED: 26

WICKETS: 1

RUNS CONCEDED: 120

MAIDENS: 2

ECONOMY-RATE: 4.61

30-SECOND REPORT

The 19-year-old came into the match on the back of heightened expectations after his burgeoning reputation as the most lethal bowler in the limited-overs format. He was made to look pedestrian for most of the day as he went at more than six runs an over but suddenly, the leg-spinner burst into life in the final session after the pacers had given the breakthrough.  He got the wicket of India skipper Ajinkya Rahane with a skiddy leg-spinner as Afghanistan came roaring back in the final session.

GOT RIGHT

It took him some time to get there, but Rashid did eventually get it right as the day progressed. After trying to do too much in every delivery at the start, the spinner settled down finally as tried to work over the batsman without becoming all too predictable. He hit the right lengths and was wicket-to-wicket as edges flew off both sides of the bat of the Indian batsmen. Set Rahane up beautifully with a leg-spinner that skidded on straight to trap the stand-in India skipper plumb in front of the wicket.

GOT WRONG

Rashid took way too long to adapt to Test match lengths and lines as he leaked runs like a chimney at the start. He tried to overdo his googly and only used his stock leg-spinner sparingly and that played into the hands of Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay, especially the former.  With it all becoming too predictable, the teenager looked nowhere near the bowler who was terrorising batsmen in the IPL only recently.

VERDICT – 6.5/10

It was perhaps one of the harshest introductions to Test cricket Rashid could have imagined and through things did not go right for him for the most part, he showed that he can adapt and learn. His spell towards the end of the day was a reminder of the enormous talent the wrist-spinner possesses. What is more important is how Rashid performs from this point on and if he can take the confidence from that performance into the rest of the Test match.

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Afghanistan make late surge on day one of inaugural Test against India

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India lost wickets in a heap in the final session. Image -ACB/Twitter.

Afghanistan‘s bowlers claimed some late success on their Test debut after Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay had both made centuries on a rain-hit opening day in Bengaluru.

After winning the toss, the hosts soon set about Afghanistan, who were captained by Asghar Stanikzai for the historic one-off encounter, scheduled for five days at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Dhawan delivered his century from just 87 deliveries – including 18 boundaries and three sixes – before lunch, becoming the first Indian batsman to do so in one session.

Shortly afterwards, though, he became the first Test wicket for Afghanistan when caught on 107 in the slips off paceman Yamin Ahmadzai.

Rain forced the players off at the start of the 46th over, with India at 248 for one when the decision was taken for an early tea.

After another rain delay, Vijay brought up his century off 143 deliveries – but Afghanistan then enjoyed some late swing success during the fading light as the opener was trapped leg before by 18-year-old bowler Wafadar on 105.

India were soon 284 for three in the next over after KL Rahul, who made 54, played on from Ahmadzai’s delivery. Captain Ajinkya Rahane also followed for 10, given lbw to spinner Rashid Khan on review, and Cheteshwar Pujara (35) edged Mujeeb Ur Rahman to first slip.

Wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik was run out on a close review after chasing a quick single when on four, as India finally got through to stumps at 347 for six. Hardik Pandya was 10 not out and Ravichandran Ashwin was on seven.

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