The live telecast of India's one-off Test match against Afghanistan will start at 9am on June 14th (Thursday) in Bengaluru.
No longer a certainty in the shorter formats, India's stand-in Test captain Ajinkya Rahane on Wednesday said he will talk to the national selection committee in order to get a clearer picture about his mode of preparation for the upcoming Test series in England.
"The preparation has been good because we only had four players that crossover".
Afghanistan's fairytale journey from gully cricketers to global stars may have begun in 2009, but they will receive their baptism in the traditional format of the game on Thursday. "Every member of a team, they always believe their team is good, that their bowling attack and their batting is better", he said, the very acme of diplomacy. "The two senior spinners Nabi and Rashid am sure will be able to adjust themselves". "But let's see how the pitch plays tomorrow", he said. Our spinners - Kuldeep, Ashwin or Jadeja - they are all experienced. So, we've had our own Kuldeep.
"My feeling is that I can't tell you how to prepare for a particular player".
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Rahane said it would be an "honour" for every Indian player to be part of the match and acknowledged Afghanistan's big moment on the cricket field. The visitors have named a spin-heavy squad in the one-off encounter against the number one Test side without the likes of Virat Kohli. "But at the same time, we look at it as win the Test match and beat India". So it's case where they are disappointed that he's not playing but at the same time.a little bit of happiness, having to bowl at him all the time is not going to be nice. We are happy to be here and playing India.
Rahane, who is standing in as captain for Kohli, said his side will have to fight for victory.
All the focus in the lead-up to the Bengaluru Test has been on Afghanistan. "My captain knows what he is talking about", Simmons laughed with Stanikzai also grinning beside him. I think when you look at it, all the spinners in this contest are going to be excellent. Mujeeb and Rashid have played in the IPL and know the Indian conditions well.
"It's important we play our minds rather than skills, because getting back to Test from T20 cricket is all about tuning your mind rather than focusing on your skills". "So we have put that in front of them and I think they have worked hard enough to be put out there". In fact, their skipper Asghar Stanikzai, when asked if his team was nervous on the eve of the match, replied, "I'm hearing (the word) for the first time".