I believe we are playing with Team India and not with Virat Kohli: Asghar Stanikzai
The 30-year old India skipper will travel to England to play for Sussex before the start of the England tour.
Updated - May 15, 2018 5:13 pm
After some impressive performances in the shorter formats, Afghanistan will be making its debut in the longest format of the game against India. The No 1 Test side will be taking on the debutant nation in a one-off Test match on June 3 in Bengaluru. The regular Indian skipper Virat Kohli will not be taking part in the historic Test match due to his prior commitments with English County side, Surrey. However, the Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai revealed that an Indian team is a strong unit despite the absence of Kohli.
All Indian players are good just like Virat Kohli: Stanikzai
During Kohli’s absence, Ajinkya Rahane will be leading the Indian Test team in the only historic game against Afghanistan. All the specialist Indian Test players have been named in the squad for the one-off Test match which includes the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, Murali Vijay, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and many other players have also been granted the opportunity to feature in the Test squad. Stanikzai believes that his team will be facing a strong Indian side.
“All Indian players are good and everyone is (a similar standard too) Virat Kohli. I believe we are playing with Team India and not with Virat Kohli,” said Stanikzai as quoted by the Times Now.
The Afghanistan skipper mentioned that they have some good spinners who can exploit the Indian conditions. The visitors are yet to name their squad for their first Test match but the star leggie Rashid Khan is a certain name who can be a great threat for the host in spin-friendly conditions. He also stated that his batters are in good form in the last three to four years.
“Indian conditions are good for spin and we are lucky to have good spinners. Our batsmen are in good form. In the last three or four years our team combination is good. We will try and play good and positive cricket. Winning and losing does not matter,” he added.
The whole Afghan nation is waiting for us to win
Afghanistan was awarded ODI status in 2009 and the team then also qualified for the 2015 World Cup. The Afghanistan skipper reckoned that it boosts the confidence of the team that their nation is curiously cheering for its team.
“It is very difficult. We get very sad when we hear about attacks in our country. But we don’t lose our morale, we will try even more to win because the whole nation will be waiting for us to win, the whole nation will be very happy when we win,” concluded the Afghanistan skipper.