The build-up to the historic India-Afghanistan Test has started as the members of Afghanistan cricket team have also reached Bengaluru on Saturday for the one-off historic Test. Even now, irrespective of the position I bat at, I consider myself as a proper batsman. "For me, there's still a long way to go".
Rashid Khan justified his top ranking in T20 by emerging as the "Player-of-the-Series" during the just-concluded three-match series against Bangladesh. Asked about the pressure on him for not living up to the expectations after his landmark 303 (not out) against England at the Chepauk Stadium in Chennai, he said, "If you (the media) don't bring it up, I am not thinking about it anymore". Obviously, the "A" series of preparations are going on.
"It´s fantastic to see two young Afghanistan spinners bamboozle world batsmen", Kumble, the third-highest wicket-taker of all time and now a commentator, told AFP.
Afghanistan's spinners will be in focus too as Rashid Khan (top-ranked in T20Is, second in ODIs) and Mohammad Nabi (eighth in T20Is, 16th in ODIs) look to make a mark in Test cricket.
Afghanistan spinners Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman have been in red-hot form, courtesy their match-defining performances in the shortest format on a consistent basis.
Shami has been out of competitive action for a while after being dropped from the Delhi Daredevils side midway into the Indian Premier League. "First and foremost, I would like to do well in this Test match and then move on", said Nair.
In the past year or so, Afghanistan's reputation has grown as they played at Lord's in London against an MCC XI led by Brendon McCullum, drew an ODI series in West Indies, beat Ireland and Zimbabwe away, and then came back from the brink to win the ICC 2019 ODI World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe. "Ultimately, the goal is to play test cricket".
"The all-India senior selection committee has named Navdeep Saini as Mohammed Shami's replacement in the Indian Test team for the upcoming Test against Afghanistan".
When did you first think Afghanistan could actually play Test matches?
"If I get it (triple ton) again, it will be a good one. I would like to do well in this Test and go on from there", said Nair, who has experienced highs and lows in his brief worldwide career so far. You know, you are not looking to get that.