Afghanistan set for ‘Test’ run in and against India

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BENGALURU, June 13: Statistically, it’s a classic David vs Goliath showdown but contextually, it’s the beginning of a historic new chapter in international cricket as world No.1 India take on a war-ravaged-but-resilient Afghanistan in their first ever Test match on Thursday.
While majority of the sports fans, in soul and spirit, will be in Russia enjoying the surreal skills of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the eternal cricket romantic will try to derive his little pleasures of life watching Rashid Khan trying to hurry Shikhar Dhawan with a flipper or bowl a googly to Ajinkya Rahane.
There is always a nervous anticipation associated with performance of a new team but the politico-social narrative associated with Afghanistan gives the game a different context.
On the surface, it is just another Test match but it is much beyond that.
The Rashids, Mujeeb Zadrans and Mohammed Shahzads would like to put their best foot forward in trying to at least provide their countrymen a refuge in sporting success.
India have been Afghanistan’s close allies and the BCCI has shown magnanimity in opening their stadiums so that the national team can practice.
But come Thursday, Rahane’s India will not spare an inch as they are expected to put up a ruthless show.
No wonder the iconic CLR James line is still so relevant “What do they know of Cricket who only Cricket Know.” (PTI)