India will take on Afghanistan in the latter’s maiden Test at Bengaluru on June 14. Afghanistan have done well in the recently concluded T20I series against Bangladesh, wrapping it up 3-0. And hence, they would have form and winning momentum on their end. India will be without their charismatic skipper Virat Kohli and will be led by Ajinkya Rahane.[ad id=’95692′]
Cricwizz makes a playing XI of India and Afghanistan combined for the historic Test. The XI is only of the available players for the Test match.
Shikhar Dhawan and Mohammad Shahzad (keeper)
The two are similar in batting styles – dominating the opposition attack with big hitting. Dhawan was in terrific form in IPL and Shahzad too is among the runs. It will be interesting to see them pair up as openers for this XI. They can match each other stroke for stroke and are similar to Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir pair of old days. Shahzad also gets to don the gloves in this XI.[ad id=”29091″]
Cheteshwar Pujara, Rahmat Shah, Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Asghar Stanikzai
Pujara is the best No 3 batsman in Test cricket. He can anchor the innings and lay the foundation for a big score. Rahmat Shah and Asghar Stanikzai are one of the best Afghanistan batsmen who can grind out the bowling attack and accumulate runs. They have four ODI tons combined to their names. They can add stability to the middle-order. Rahane gets to lead the team and bats at No 6. Rahane has the ability to play with the tailenders and score some valuable runs with them.
R Ashwin, Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan is the best spinner in limited-overs cricket. Can he unleash the same magic in Test cricket? Nevertheless, he gets to partner Indian ace spinner R Ashwin in this line-up. Both can complement each other well as they are as different as chalk and cheese in their bowling style and attacking nature. It will be a treat to watch them bowl in tandem.[ad id=’95693′]
On Indian pitches, you need a spin all-rounder to back up the main spinners in case one of them has a bad day at work. Besides, Nabi can be trusted to provide those cameos lower down the order to shore up the team’s total.[ad id=’94635′]
Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma
Umesh Yadav was on fire in the recently concluded IPL. He was one of the leading wicket-takers in the tournament. He has pace, bounce and movement. Ishant is the most experienced medium-pacer from either sides and gets to play in this XI for his never-say-die attitude and relentless pursuit of wickets.[ad id=”35684″]
Playing XI: Mohammad Shahzad (keeper), Shikhar Dhawan, C Pujara, Asghar Stanikzai, Rahmat Shah, Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma