Scripting history ‘Team India’ defeated Afghanistan in under two days, in the one-off test match in Bangalore.
Debutant Afghanistan was no match for the men in blue and chasing a target of 474 fell twice in one day with scores of 109 and 103, to lose the match by one innings and 262 runs. This is the fourth time in the history of test cricket that any team was bowled out in one day, and the 21st time that a test match has ended within two days; besides it is also the first to happen in India.
While, Afghanistan’s Hashmatulla Shahidi was the top scorer for his team in both the innings, India’s Ravindra Jadeja returned with figures of 6 for 35.
However, there were some positive take-away for the Afghan team especially the bowling of Yamin Ahmadzai, who took 3 wickets for 51 runs.
Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons, commenting on the team’s performance, said, “The learning curve is huge; it’s a mountain to climb. But they want to succeed and they work very hard.” He added now the team knew that they have to work 5 times harder.
Being beaten by India, however, should not be considered as a disgrace by Afghanistan, but losing a test match within two days and getting bowled out twice in one day should be a huge disappointment for the young team.
The Afghan batting collapse
The in-experience and lack of discipline in the Afghan batting line-up were visible throughout the match. Apart from Mohd Shahzad all the other Afghan batsmen were out because of poor shot selection.
With only 5 batsmen reaching double figures and only 1 batter scoring above 20 runs, Afghanistan never looked like a team that could challenge team India. They were bundled out for just 109 runs in their first innings and 103 runs were all that Afghanistan could get in their second innings.
Ravi Ashwin ripped the Afghan batsmen apart with his classy spin bowling. Ash took 4 wickets and conceded only 27 runs. While Umesh Yadav picked up 1 wicket, Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja picked up 2 wickets each.
The Afghanistan batting fared even worse in their second outing to the park; Ravindra Jadeja picked up 4 wickets, Umesh Yadav picked up 3 wickets, and Ravi Ashwin added 1 wicket to his name.
India won the toss and opted to bat first in this one-off test match.
India’s regular skipper Virat Kohli was rested for this one-off test match, but he was not missed in this test match.
Indian openers, Murli Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan started the innings by freely hitting the ball out of the park. Dhawan looking to be in the form of his life thrashed the Afghanistan bowlers who could do little but be mere spectators to the ‘Gabbar’ show.
On the other hand, Murali Vijay too wasn’t far behind Dhawan. He too took on the Afghan bowlers and piled on more misery for the visitors. The Indian openers added 168 runs in just 28.4 overs.
With this match Dhawan became the first India batsman to score a test century before lunch. It was his 7th test century.
India’s middle order and even the tail-enders joined the run pile up to take India to 474 runs in their first innings.
Besides beating the Afghanistan team hands down; and giving their fans lot to cheer about the Indian team also won many hearts by inviting the Afghanistan players to share a pose with the winning trophy.
The man of the match was awarded to Shikhar Dhawan for his magnificent 107 runs.