Afghanistan were thrashed by an innings and 262 runs inside two days at Bengaluru in their first-ever Test match. However, hosts India invited the entire Afghanistan squad to pose with them at the trophy presentation.
It was a gesture that made Modi proud.
“I will remember this first match as the Indian team did something exemplary to the whole world. What does a winning team do after receiving the trophy? The Indian team, while receiving the trophy, warmly invited the Afghanistan team which had played its first international match to pose together ,” he said when addressing the nation on radio on Sunday.
He added: “Sports is a great medium for the integration of society. It is also a great medium to find out the talent in the youths. I congratulate India and Afghanistan cricket teams. I hope they will keep playing the game against each other with sportsman spirit.”
On pictures posted on the BCCI Twitter account on Sunday, Kohli, Rahul, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were seen taking part in an intense training session.
The Indian team landed in the UK on Saturday for a nearly three-month long tour which begins with a two-match T20I series against Ireland in Dublin next week.
From July 7, they will take on hosts England for three T20 matches before their three-match ODI series five days later.
On August 1, the two nations will meet in the first of five Tests with the series ending in early September.
India’s limited-overs squad led by Virat Kohli had departed for the extensive tour from Mumbai on Saturday. The team will stay in London for a short while before flying to Dublin for the two-match T20I series against Ireland.
Kohli had earlier posted an image of the squad members as they departed for London, writing, “Off we go, UK bound!”
Early on Sunday morning, the BCCI took to Twitter to post images of the team arriving in London.
India’s tour of the UK starts with the Ireland leg in which they will play the two T20Is at the Malahide Cricket Club at the Village in Dublin. The two matches will take place on June 27 and 29.
Upon the completion of the Ireland series, the team will fly back to England to kick-start the limited-overs series against Eoin Morgan’s men. The England leg of the tour will start with a three-match T20I series against the hosts. The three T20Is will be followed by as many ODIs following which the limited-overs stalwarts like MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina will return to India while Test specialists like Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Ajinkya Rahane will join up with the rest of the squad in England.
India will then take on England in an eagerly anticipated five-match Test series which will get underway at Edgbaston on August 1. Kohli’s men will culminate their long tour with the final Test at the Oval in London which will start on September 7.