India will be led by Ajinkya Rahane in the absence of Virat Kohli who is nursing a neck injury.
Lunch: India 158/0 in 27 overs (Vijay 41, Dhawan 104)
Tea: India 248/1 in 45.1 overs (Vijay 94, Rahul 33)
Stumps: India 347/6 in 78 overs (Hardik 10*, Ashwin 7*)
At Stumps, IND 347/6 in 78 overs.
India imploded in the final session, losing five wickets. Afghanistan looked poor in the morning session but came back strong in the final session after rain washed out the second. India began well with centuries by openers Dhawan and Vijay, but they’ll be disappointed by how the day ended. They scored 99 runs in the final session and lost five wickets. The hosts scored 99 in the final session and lost five wickets.
IND 334/6 after 74.4 overs
WICKET! Karthik run-out after being turned back by Hardik. India imploding in the final session. The pressure built up by the Afghanistan bowlers gets to the batsmen. Karthik seemed desperate to get away from the crease. Hardik seemed least interested to come on strike. Karthik put in a dive but could not make it.
Karthik run out 4 (22b)
IND 328/5 after 71 overs (Karthik 3*, Hardik 4*)
Karthik survives by millimeters. He’s rapped on the pads by Rashid. The visitors go up in appeal, but the umpire disagrees. DRS though sticks with the umpire’s call to frustrate the star spinner. Things have changed dramatically in the last hour. India have gone from 280/1 to 328/5 in the span of one session.
IND 328/5 after 70 overs.
WICKET! Mujeeb strikes! India lose their fifth wicket! Pujara gets an inside edge and Nabi makes up for his early drop to pick up a smart catch at leg gully.
Pujara c Nabi b Mujeeb 35 (52b, 6x4)
IND 327/4 after 69 overs.
DROPPED! Rashid gets Pujara to edge one to the slip fielder, but Nabi fluffs it up. Pujara was batting on 35.
IND 318/4 after 66.3 overs.
WICKET! Rashid gets a wicket after all. Rahane LBW. A legbreak deceives the India skipper. Finally something to cheer for Rashid, who has had a tough day so far.
Rahane lbw Rashid Khan 10 (45b, 2x4)
After 65 overs, India: 312/3 (Pujara 22*, Rahane 10*) Rahane and Pujara slowing things down now. The run-rate has fallen below 5 runs an over for the first time in the day. Afghanistan spinners finally getting time to express themselves as the two batsmen engage in a blockathon.
After 61 overs, India: 304/3 (Pujara 19, Rahane 5) Rashid Khan is back into the attack to bowl his mix of legbreaks and googlies. And for the first time in Test cricket, he’s bowled a maiden over. He doesn’t look threatening like he does with the white ball though.
After 60 overs, India: 304/3 (Pujara 19, Rahane 5) Interesting field for Stanikzai’s medium pace. There’s a slip and a gully. He’s bowling sub-120 kmph. He’s bowled a couple of them short as well, which Pujara late-cuts and pulls for boundaries. India cross 300.
After 59 overs, India: 290/3 (Pujara 5, Rahane 5) Ahmadzai thinks he gets his third wicket. He bowls a good short ball, coming into Rahane. The Afghans think it’s brushed Rahane’s glove before going to the keeper. The umpire thinks so too. But Rahane goes up for DRS. No bat or glove. Maiden over though.
After 58 overs, India: 290/3 (Pujara 5, Rahane 5) The skipper Asghar Stanikzai brings himself on to thrown in some medium pace. But Pujara and Rahane are solid on their defence, don’t let their concentration waver. Just two runs off the over.
After 56 overs, India: 288/3 (Pujara 4, Rahane 4) Wafadar bowls a maiden. He’s been particularly good after the rain break and has Pujara defended all six deliveries without much ado.
After 55 overs, India: 288/3 (Pujara 4, Rahane 4) Ahmadzai gets one wrong – bowls short and wide. And, the Indian skipper capitalises on the delivery and gets off the mark with a square cut.
After 54 overs, India: 284/3 (Pujara 4, Rahane 0) Two new batsmen at the crease. Batsmen who are hungry for runs. Pujara didn’t have a great county stint with England and Rahane, in the last 10 Tests, have been averaging in the 30s. But they aren’t known to score quick. The run rate is still above five. Can Afghanista try and get a wicket before the scheduled close of play (5:30 pm)?
WICKET! Oh no! Rahul’s gone. He’s chopped the ball on to his stumps. He was going so well, looked well set for a hundred. But falls trying to cut a widish ball from Ahmadzai. So, some good news for Afghanistan after the rain. India: 284/3 in 52.1 overs.
WICKET! Another batsman departs soon after making his hundred in this Test. Wafadar gets the ball to come in to Vijay. The batsman shoulders his arms to leave it. The ball clips the pads. The Afghans immediately go up. The umpire rises his finger. Vijay doesn’t think twice before going for DRS. But the ball is shown to be clipping the off stump. India: 284/2
After 51 overs, India: 277/1 (Vijay 103, Rahul 53) KL Rahul’s been unstoppable in this innings. Vijay’s crossed 100 but Rahul’s batting better than his partner. He’s hitting the good deliveries for boundaries but Rashid bowls one too short and another one down the leg. Rahul puts away both and gets to his fifty.
HUNDRED FOR VIJAY! Wafadar bowls short and wide and Vijay stands tall and gets the ball over the point fielder. The ball rushes to the boundary. He’s delighted to get to his 12th Test ton. After 50 overs, India: 268/1 (Vijay 103, Rahul 44)
After 49 overs, India: 264/1 (Vijay 99, Rahul 44) Rashid bowls the two remaning balls of the 49th over. Both well defended by Rahul.
We are back...
Looks like the covers are coming off again in Bengaluru. Play is slated to resume at 03:50 pm.
Rain halts play again! IND 263/1 after 48.4 overs.
It’s coming down heavily. Players run off the field. Murali Vijay has to wait longer for his century. He’s batting on 99.
After 47 overs, India: 259/1 (Vijay 96, Rahul 42) Rashid Khan starts off with three good deliveries. Afghanistan stick to spin from both ends. The batsmen continue to dominate regardless.
After 46 overs, India: 253/1 (Vijay 95, Rahul 37) Vijay’s five runs away from his 100. Puzzling that Afghanistan has a defensive field for him. The rain hasn’t stopped Rahul’s momentum it looks like. He finishes off the over with a four.
2:40 pm Covers are coming off. Play expected to resume in another 10 minutes. Hopefully the rain doesn’t return.
Early Tea has been taken at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Hope the rain clears away and we get more cricketing action on day one.
Oh no, the rain is back. The covers are coming on too. The super soppers are on as well.
It’s stopped raining at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. The umpires have come out for inspection. Looks like the play will resume soon. Stay tuned, fellas.
It’s suddenly started to rain at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. It was a little overcast. The play has been paused with Vijay needing six runs away from his hundred. He’ll hope the break is not for too long. And, Afghanistan won’t mind this break. This will give them a chance to re-group, rethink their strategy that might help them get a wicket after the break.
After 45 overs, India: 244/1 (Vijay 90, Rahul 33) Vijay’s on to his nineties and Rahul, in very quick time, has reached 30s. A dangerous partnership building up. Afghanistan need to break this.
After 44 overs, India: 238/1 (Vijay 88, Rahul 29) With this field, Nabi can’t err in his length too much but that’s what he does and gets punished for two fours – one by Vijay and one by Rahul.
After 43 overs, India: 229/1 (Vijay 84, Rahul 24) Good over by Rashid – he’s bowling from a different end. Just one from the over. The last ball of the over took Vijay by surprise. Beaten.
After 42 overs, India: 228/1 (Vijay 84, Rahul 23) Vijay inches closer to his hundred with a beautifully played late-cut against Mujeeb.
After 41 overs, India: 223/1 (Vijay 80, Rahul 22) Vijay gets himself into trouble by taking off for a non-existent single. He dives back in time to the non-strikers end and sighs and smiles at Rahul. Then, ends the over by Nabi with a perfectly timed and placed reverse-paddle.
After 40 overs, India: 216/1 (Vijay 74, Rahul 19) Just the one off that Mujeeb over. Featured a carrom ball.
After 39 overs, India: 215/1 (Vijay 74, Rahul 19) The late-cut: not many people play it these days, not many people can make it look beautiful but Rahul does. Just a little short from Nabi and Rahul rocks back, makes room for himself and steers the ball delicately behind point. He’s looking good.
After 38 overs, India: 209/1 (Vijay 74, Rahul 14) So beautiful watch Rahul when he’s on song. He puts away – as prettily as possible – two tossed up deliveries of Mujeeb: one be skipping out of the crease and driving to covers and the other by just putting out his front foot and square-driving to covers again.
After 37 overs, India: 200/1 (Vijay 74, Rahul 6) So, 200 up for India. They have gotten there without much trouble. Even the one wicket they have lost so far came off the batsman’s error than the bowlers’ genius. With Rahul settling in, 300 is not out of reach for Rahane’s men.
After 36 overs, India: 199/1 (Vijay 73, Rahul 6) Rashid Khan’s bowling a little quicker through the air. Three wrong ‘uns in the over. He’s been, however, a little erratic in his lengths so far today.
After 35 overs, India: 195/1 (Vijay 71, Rahul 4) Ahmadzai’s spell continues. A couple of deliveries a little too wide this over.
After 34 overs, India: 193/1 (Vijay 70, Rahul 3) Rashid’s opting for a more defensive field now. Deep square leg, deep midwicket come into play. Vijay and Rahul are happy with the singles.
After 33 overs, India: 190/1 (Vijay 68, Rahul 2) Afghanistan gets another over from Ahmadzai. Just four runs off it. Quiet over.
After 32 overs, India: 186/1 (Vijay 65, Rahul 1) Three boundaries of that over by Rashid. All three came off Vijay’s bat. The last of the three scored off a full toss. Rashid’s looking a little unsettled. It’s been a tough day for him so far. 10-0-75-0.
After 31 overs, India: 174/1 (Vijay 53, Rahul 1) Top over by Ahmadzai after getting the wicket of Dhawan. Bowls a maiden. He’s hitting the right lengths. But Rahul looks solid while defending.
After 30 overs, India: 174/1 (Vijay 53, Rahul 1) Murali Vijay gets to a half-century. Hasn’t been a fluent innings. A little rusty. Understandable, considering he hasn’t played a lot of games of late. But he’d look to carry on from here to make a big score. For, this is a track that’s good to bat. And, Rahul’s coming from a great season in the IPL. Afghanistan can’t afford to rest after Dhawan’s wicket.
WICKET! Ah, finally. There it is. Afghanistan’s first-ever wicket in Test cricket.
S Dhawan c Mohammad Nabi b Yamin Ahmadzai 107 (96)
Dhawan, slightly off-balance, chased an away going delivery and got a thick outside edge. The ball flies to the second slip. Shah got a hand to it, and set it up for Mohammad Nabi to catch it. After 29 overs, India: 170/1 (M Vijay 49, KL Rahul 1)
After 28 overs, India: 166/0 (Dhawan 106, Vijay 47) A superbly timed boundary by Vijay to end the over. Eight runs off it. Rashid looks exasperated. Wrong ‘uns aren’t working. The leg-breaks aren’t, too.
Rashid Khan to begin the proceedings after Lunch. He’s hardly been on the receiving end in any form of cricket. But this format is new to him, he’s just 7 overs old in this. How will he fare in this session?
At Lunch, IND 158/0 in 27 overs (Dhawan 104*, Vijay 41*; Rashid 7-0-51-0).
India’s openers frustrated the Afghan bowlers in the morning session. Pace and spin both failed for the visitors as Dhawan and Vijay took charge. Afghanistan will rue their wayward ways. Their bowlers could not shake off their T20 hangover as they focused more on variations rather than sticking to a discipline line and length. Spinners Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman were guilty off being impatient as they lost the plot against a dangerous Indian opening pair.
After 26 overs, IND 157/0
100 for Dhawan before Lunch! Gets there in 87 deliveries. He’s been class apart today. Has batted with strike rate well over 100. Has attacked pacers and spinners alike. Did not sit back when Rashid and Mujeeb came into the attack. In fact, he went after them from the get go. Primed for a big knock. He becomes the first India cricketer to score a ton before Lunch on Day 1 in Tests.
IND 144/0 after 25 overs (Dhawan 96*, Vijay 35*)
4-1-4-4-4-0 Dhawan-Vijay teach Mujeeb a harsh lesson in Test cricket. The youngster strays wide and then drills it in short. Impatient in his line. The batsmen need no invitation to punish the mistakes.
After 24 overs, IND 127/0.
India, led by Dhawan, keeping Afghanistan at bay. The visitors have tried everything at their disposal so far. Spinners Rashid and Mujeeb not sticking to their stock delivery and are instead mixing it up with variations. The element of surprise is no longer an option and the Indian openers are capitalising.
After 20 overs, IND 109/0
Scare for Dhawan! Afghanistan opt for their first DRS call of the match. Rashid raps Dhawan on the pad. There’s an appeal. The umpire turns it down. Review shows the ball would have bounced over the stumps.
IND 94/0 after 19 overs.
Mujeeb gives away just one run in his first over in Test and first-class cricket. Afghanistan now employing spin from both ends with Rashid also in the attack.
After 17 overs, IND 88/0 (Dhawan 57*, Vijay 18*)
Dhawan trudging along nicely here. He’s waiting and capitalising on the loose deliveries. Afghanistan seem to be running out of options. They desperately need a breakthrough.
After 16 overs, IND 80/0.
A far better performance from Rashid in his second over. Nerves seem to have settled now. He raps Vijay on the pads, but it’s going down leg. He’s mixing things up with leg-breaks and googlies.
After 15 overs, IND 79/0.
Wafadar continues with his spell. After five dot balls leaks a boundary off the final delivery. Seems to be tiring now. Seven overs from him so far.
After 14 overs, IND 75/0.
50 for Dhawan! He gets there in 47 balls. Capitalises on a few full tosses from Rashid. The Afghan star hasn’t had the best of first overs.
After 13 overs, IND 62/0 (Dhawan 39, Vijay 13*).
Wafadar seems to have found an extra gear. He’s keeping the openers on their toes. There’s been a few misses and runs have dried up. Vijay-Dhawan are still standing, though.
After 11 overs, IND 54/0.
First real chance of the morning. Wafadar lands it just on off. He gets it to hold its line. Dhawan is trapped jabbing at it. Afghanistan feel there’s an outside edge but the umpire disagrees. Ultra edge indicates there might have been some contact. It’s touch and go. Could have influenced the third umpire to call it out if reviewed. But, Afghanistan didn’t. Meanwhile, Vijay-Dhawan have now added 54 runs for the opening wicket.
After 9 overs, IND 41/0.
Vijay, Dhawan look in total control. The ball has stopped doing much. Nabi too didn’t seem to find much purchase.
After 8 overs, IND 40/0 (Dhawan 22*, Vijay 8*).
Ahmadzai and Wafadar have bowled four overs apiece with no real impact. Afghanistan will now turn to spin. Nabi comes into the attack.
After 7 overs, IND 36/0.
There’s help in the track for the bowlers but the Afghans have been guilty of straying in their line and lengths this morning. The Indian haven’t helped matters either with a confident start. Dhawan and Vijay haven’t been troubled much. They are waiting for the loose deliveries which aren’t too far away.
After 6 overs, IND 23/0.
The India openers have settled down well, getting a boundary in every over. There’s a bit of movement off the wicket but they have negotiated it without giving any chances.
After 4 overs, IND 14/0.
Wafadar bowls Afghanistan’s first maiden over in Test cricket. Dhawan blocks nearly everything.
After 3 overs, IND 14/0.
Vijay gets a streaky boundary off Ahmadzai’s last delivery in the third over. Chases the ball outside off. There’s no footwork, he’s lucky to get an inside edge which goes to the fence.
After 2 overs, IND 10/0.
Dhawan settles down quickly. Dispatches Wafadar for two boundaries in the second over. The bowler strays wide and the India opener doesn’t give any quarter.
After 1 over, IND 2/0.
Nervy, but, tight first over from Ahmadzai. A bit of movement early on. The Indian openers negotiate it well.
There were reports that Shikhar Dhawan might have injured himself in training, but he’s fit and opening the innings with Murali Vijay.
Yamin Ahmadzai will deliver the first ball for Afghanistan in Test cricket.
India’s Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore delivers a message from PM Narendra Modi to the Afghanistan cricketers ahead of their historic debut Test.
Former India cricketer Salim Durani, who was born in Afghanistan is part of the pre-match presentation.
India XI: Dhawan, Vijay, Pujara, Rahul, Rahane, Karthik, Pandya, Ashwin, Jadeja, Ishant, Umesh
Afghanistan XI: Stanikzai, Shahzad, Ahmadi, Shahidi, Shah, Zazai, Nabi, Rashid, Ahmadzai, Wafadar, Mujeeb
Karun Nair, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini miss out on a place in the India playing XI.
“Very proud moment. All guys have first-class experience. Inshallah, we can do well,” says Afghanistan skipper Stanikzai.
India win the toss and choose to bat first.
Pitch report: Lots of grass in all the right areas. Batsmen should expect lateral movement, says Gavaskar.
08:50 am: 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.