BANGALORE, India (AP) India won the toss on Thursday and elected to bat against Afghanistan in the war-torn country’s first-ever cricket test match.
As Afghanistan became the 12th test cricketing country, skipper Asghar Stanikzai walked out to the ground with stand-in India captain Ajinkya Rahane for the toss.
The pitch was expected to dry up as the match goes on with spinners from both sides coming into play. India went in with spin duo Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
Afghanistan named three frontline spinners – Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi – in its first test XI. All-rounders Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi can also bowl spin, if needed.
India was missing star batsman Virat Kohli due to injury. Dinesh Karthik returned to the test side after a gap of eight years in place of regular wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, who is also injured.
Indian sports minister and former Olympic shooter Rajyvardhan Rathore greeted both sides before the start of this historic match.
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Lokesh Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav.
Afghanistan: Mohammad Shahzad, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Stanikzai (captain), Afsar Zazai, Mohammad Nabi, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Yamin Ahmadzai, Wafadar.