IND vs AFG, Only Test – Afghanistan Predicted XI

The historic Test will be played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

Afghanistan team
Afghanistan team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The stage is all set for the historic first Test of the Afghanistan side. The story of the Afghanistani side in the world of cricket has been a fairy tale. Despite the odds that the strife-torn nation has suffered over the years, the game of cricket has managed to bring smiles on the faces of the people of the country. They have made tremendous progress in the world cricket ever since being inducted as an associate nation by the ICC.

They won the Division Leagues, got their ODI status, featured in the World Cups, and now, are all set to play the longest format of the game. The players pretty well know that playing Test cricket is the ultimate aim of every cricketer who plays for the national side. The case for the Afghanistani side is no different either. The build up to their historic first Test has been immense. They are set to play the top ranked team India in the one off Test at Bengaluru.

The players of team Afghanistan will arrive in to the game riding on their herculean 3-0 win in the T20Is against Bangladesh. On the other hand, the match will mark the first game of the season for the Indian side. The visitors would know that the Test arena will be a different ball game against a formidable Indian side. To ensure that they put up a strong fight, they need to come up with the best combination for the game. A lot of thought process will go in to the team selection for sure.

Here is the Afghanistan Predicted XI for the historic match:

Openers (Mohammad Shahzad, Javed Ahmadi)

Mohammad Shahzad is a big name in the Afghanistan setup. He has been a key player of the team over the years and has played almost every major game that the team has played in the shorter formats. The hard hitting batsman will be an exciting prospect to look up to in the game. He, however, is unlikely to don the wicket keeping gloves in the match.

In a world full of hard hitters, Javed Ahmadi is one of the calm and composed players in the Afghanistani side. He has shaped up his style of play on former English skipper Michael Vaughan. He had a decent time in the World Cup Qualifiers earlier this year and is expected to play a major role in the longer formats for his side.

Middle-Order (Asghar Stanikzai, Nasir Jamal, Rahmat Shah, Afsar Zazai)

Asghar Stanikzai is set to get his name etched in the history books for being the first Afghanistan Test captain. Stanikzai is vastly experienced and is renowned to be a solid batsman across the three formats of the game. He had a relatively quiet outing in Dehradun recently and would want to make up for it in the big game against India.

Young Nasir Jamal has been very impressive in the short international career he has had thus far. Jamal averages almost 40 in the First Class cricket and is a right handed batsman by trade. With his ability to stay at the crease for longer periods, he is expected to find a place in the middle-order for the historic game.

Young Rahmat Shah is a very consistent cricketer from the Afghanistani land. He averaged about 50 with the bat and has a top score of 144 in the First Class cricket. He is expected to play either at number 3 or number 5 in the Afghanistani lineup for the game. Rahmat would be itching to take the field after not having played in the T20Is against Bangladesh.

The Afghanistan head coach, Phil Simmons, clearly hinted that Mohammad Shahzad might not take the keeping gloves in the historic game. With Shahzad playing as a batsman, the void for the keeper in the side gets created. Afsar Zazai isa the front runner to fill the void. He is a decent lower middle order batsman as well.

All-rounders (Mohammad Nabi)

The all-rounders department will be headed by Mohammad Nabi. Nabi is one of the most popular faces from his side and will be one of the key attractions in the game. He will not only be handy with his hitting abilities but also with his spin bowling. His recent experience of playing in India will come in handy for his side.

Spinners (Mujeeb Rahman, Rashid Khan)

Along with Mohammad Nabi, young bowlers Mujeeb Rahman and Rashid Khan will complete the spin troika for the visitors. The visitors do have the option of playing Zahir Khan as well. However, Rahman and Rashid seem to be the first choice spinners in the side. Both players had excellent run in the IPL.

Rashid Khan, in particular, has been having a dream run in his cricket career. He has been shattering records at will and is seen as the main man of his side in the lead up to the game. Meanwhile, Mujeeb can be very lethal with his variations. He has some deceptive deliveries that can come in handy in the longest format of the game.

Pace bowlers (Wafadar, Yamin Ahmadzai)

Young 18 year old pace bowler Wafadar has been fast-tracked in the national side for the historic Test. He is one of the star performers in the age group cricket in Afghanistan. With only 4 First Class matches to his name, many could rule him out of the scheme of things. But he can truly be the trump card from the visitors in the big game.

Meanwhile, the other speedster in the lineup will be Yamin Ahmadzai. With no Shapoor Zadran in the side, the likes of Yamin have a brilliant chance to step up. He had recently bagged a five for against the Amo Region in a First Class fixture. He has a very balanced action that makes him very successful in his trade.

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