Former India captain Sourav Ganguly asks Afghanistan to not lose hope after inaugural Test defeat

Sudhir Gupta 11:26 18/06/2018
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Ganguly believes the Afghans will get there with time.

Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly said Afghanistan should not be disheartened by the two-day defeat to India in their inaugural Test.

Writing in his column for the Times of India, Ganguly said that Asghar Stanikzai’s men can only improve after losing by an innings and 262 runs.

“No surprises were thrown up at the Chinnaswamy Stadium but at the same time not many expected that the India-Afghanistan Test match would get over in just two days. The Afghan boys shouldn’t worry about how long the Test lasted but should rewind the entire two days to realise what they need to do to get better in the longer format of the game,” Ganguly wrote.

“This has happened with many other teams. When Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Zimbabwe were inducted into Test cricket, their initial days were also sketchy.

“It is with time that they got better. Afghanistan, and for that matter the other new entrant, Ireland, will have to be given more time to understand and come to terms with the demands of the longest format of the game. With time they will learn.”

Test cricket’s latest entrants lost 20 wickets in a single day at Bengaluru and Ganguly said Afghanistan batsmen need to have more patience if they are to succeed.

Afghanistan in a huddle during the Test. Image - BCCI.

Afghanistan in a huddle during the Test. Image – BCCI/Twitter.

“The Afghans were still in T20 mode and the lack of footwork was pretty apparent when they played pace bowling. Umesh Yadav bowled good pace and it did put doubts in the batters’ minds. Test cricket is about patience and proper shot selection. As much as solid shots, judgment outside the off stump and letting deliveries go is very important to succeed and in time and with proper coaching they will learn,” the 45-year-old wrote.

Afghanistan superstar and No1 ranked T20 bowler Rashid Khan had a harsh introduction to Test cricket with the leg-spinner finishing with figures of 2-154. Ganguly believes the 19-year-old can learn a lot about the format by talking to former India leg-spinner Anil Kumble.

“Rashid Khan bowled well in patches and it must have been a good learning exercise for him bowling those long spells. He needs to give the champion [Anil] Kumble a ring as he is not far away,” wrote Ganguly.

“Test cricket is about bowling maidens and putting pressure back on the opposition, especially when batsmen are not coming at you, as it happens in T20,” he added.

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