Afghanistan were shown no mercy by world No1 team India as Test cricket’s latest entrants lost their inaugural match by an innings and 262 runs inside two days in Bengaluru on Friday.
The Indians made 474 in the first innings at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium and the Afghans were then bowled out for 109 in 28 overs with India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin picking up 4-27. In the second innings, the Afghans managed only 103 after Ravindra Jadeja picked up four scalps and pacer Umesh Yadav three.
There were quite a few firsts in the Bengaluru Test, and they don’t make for good reading if you are a fan of Afghanistan or Test cricket:
India bowled out Afghanistan twice in a day as they secured victory by an innings and 262 runs. It was the 21st time a Test had finished inside two days and the fourth instance of a team being bowled out twice in a day. Afghanistan’s batsmen were all at sea against India’s pacers and spinners. Captain Stanikzai said his players can only improve from here.
“We were surprised by how quickly things ended because we are a good team,” Stanikzai was quoted as saying by AFP.
“Test cricket is totally different from T20 and one day matches. But this was good for us and good for the future. We have a lot of time and we will work on our weaknesses” he added.
Afghanistan were expected to put up a better fight, with Stanikzai earlier declaring his team has better spinners than India. But the visitors were not match for Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who picked up five and six wickets respectively.
Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons said the team needs to see the Bengaluru Test as part of the learning curve.
“The learning curve is huge, it’s a mountain to climb. But they want to succeed and they work very hard but now we know that we have to work five times as hard,” Simmons said. “I believe we will get there.”
India skipper Ajinkya Rahane too believes Afghanistan will only grow stronger from their opening experience.
“The more and more they play, they will learn. It’s just the beginning for them,” Rahane said.
“You cannot blame them. They tried their best. Test cricket is all about attitude and patience and they have been playing a lot of T20 cricket. With their bowling they can damage any team. They need to learn with their batting. If two or three guys can bat for a long period then they can be a decent side.”
India resumed on 347 for six on Friday following centuries from openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay on a rain-hit opening day and, largely thanks to 71 from Hardik Pandya, amassed a further 127 runs to push their score up to 474.
Afghanistan struggled to respond at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium and were forced to follow on after being bowled out for just 109 inside 28 overs, with India all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin taking four for 27.
Harsh welcome for Afghanistan to test cricket and the realisation that this form of cricket requires very different skills.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) June 15, 2018
They managed only 103 in their second innings as four wickets from Ravindra Jadeja and three from Umesh Yadav helped ensure the historic one-off encounter, scheduled for five days, ended prematurely.
Ashwin was the first man out on Friday after he became Yamin Ahmadzai’s third victim and Jadeja soon followed when he was caught by Rahmat Shah off the bowling of Mohammad Nabi.
Pandya, who had resumed on 10, hit 10 boundaries to boost India’s score but after he was caught off a Wafadar delivery, Ishant Sharma was trapped lbw by Rashid Khan to end an impressive innings from the superior hosts.
Afghanistan’s task became increasingly difficult after they lost Mohammad Shahzad, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat and Afasr Zazai inside their opening 10 overs for just 35 runs.
It may not be a bad idea for ICC to have teams aspiring to play Tests first test them against A teams from Test-playing nations. At least from now on.— G Rajaraman (@g_rajaraman) June 15, 2018
Ashwin then clean bowled visiting captain Asghar Stanikzai and trapped Hashmatullah Shahidi lbw, before removing the tourists’ top scorer Nabi for 24 as Afghanistan’s batting order collapsed.
Despite an unbeaten 36 from Shahidi, Afghanistan’s struggles continued in the second innings as the pace of Yadav ripped through their top order by dismissing Shahzad, Ahmadi and Nabi, before the spin of Jadeja and Ashwin completed the rout.