IND vs AFG: Ajinkya Rahane doesn’t want to take Afghanistan lightly

IND vs AFG: Ajinkya Rahane doesn’t want to take Afghanistan lightly

It is truly a historic occasion today as the national cricket team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan plays its first global cricket Test match.

Asked what will he do for the next one and half months, a normally defensive Rahane let his guard down for moment. "I'm hearing this for the first time", he shot back, setting the tone for the next 15 minutes during which he and coach Phil Simmons talked all things Test cricket and the build-up to their inaugural Test. "But yeah, I will definitely have a word with the selectors", Rahane's indecisiveness was palpable before he again tightened his defences. And it is a matter of great pride and vast pleasure that Afghanistan has chosen to play their maiden Test match against India.

"But I will start my preparation in Mumbai as I always do at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). It is a big moment for all who have put in wonderful efforts to earn us Test status", he said.

Having witnessed the turmoil West Indies went through towards the end of his career, Simmons is aware of the immediate challenge to channel Afghanistan's white-ball temperament to the longest format. "They have a decent team... bowlers (are good)", he told reporters on the eve of the one-off Test.

"As a Test team, we can not take anyone for granted". We want to go out there and be ruthless. "We have limited players from different provinces, but when they perform we give them chances in our "A" and development squads from where they graduate into the national team", he said. "We just need to be ruthless", Rahane said as quoted by News 18. Karthik also stated that it can serve as motivation for many.

"Every member will like to believe that their team is good".

Rahane refused to draw comparisons between the spin attacks of the two teams, but praised the experience of India's Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja as well as the talent of Kuldeep Yadav. We all know the stats but we don't want to focus on the stats. "On a given day, it's the mindset that makes a difference", Rahane said.

"We have had a couple of practice sessions in Bangalore and it was fantastic". After coming back from IPL, it's important that we train our mind rather than skills, because getting back to Test cricket after T20 is all about tuning your mind rather than focusing on your skills. "So we are disappointed he is not playing, but little bit happy that we are not going to bowl to him all the time".

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