Ahead of Afghanistan's historic one-off Test against India, slated to get underway in Bengaluru from June 14, Afghan captain Asghar Stanikzai did not hesitate to claim that his side have spinners with better profile when compared to experienced campaigners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja - who have led the hosts to several Test victories. Afghanistan will become the 12th nation to play Test cricket when they take on India here from Thursday, with the hosts devoid of skipper Virat Kohli.
India will mainly bank on the star duo of Jadeja and Ashwin, the world's fourth and fifth-ranked Test bowlers respectively, to tame the Afghans in their debut Test.
But Stanikzai feels his spin-heavy side, which includes star leggie Rashid Khan, teenager Mujeeb Ur Rahman and veteran Mohammad Nabi, can more than match the Indian duo.
"The whole world knows that (we have good spinners like) Rashid Khan, Mujeeb, Nabi, Rahmat (Shah), Zahir (Khan)," Stanikzai was quoted as saying by Espn.
"In Afghanistan, the brilliant thing is that a lot of the young talent that is coming through are spinners, because they all follow Rashid, they follow Nabi, so because of that our spin department is very strong from below.
"In my opinion, we have good spinners, better spinners than India," he added.
Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons, however played down talk that his spinners were better than their opponents, but backed ICC No.1-ranked T20 bowler Rashid to overcome his inexperience at first-class level.
"I don't know about better than India.
"I think Rashid is at a different level now, if he keeps improving, but we haven't seen him that much in Test cricket. Well, we haven't seen him at all in Test cricket, but in four-day cricket we haven't seen him that much. So it's a new frontier for him.
"I'm sure he will conquer it, but whether he will conquer it in the first game, we'll have to see," Simmons said.
(With IANS inputs)
- Afghanistan will become the 12th nation to play Test cricket
- India will mainly bank on the star duo of Jadeja and Ashwin
- Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons played down that his spinners are better
|1||Virat Kohli India||935|
|2||Steven Smith Australia||919|
|3||Kane Williamson New Zealand||847|
|4||Joe Root England||835|
|5||David Warner Australia||812|
|1||James Anderson England||899|
|2||Kagiso Rabada South Africa||882|
|3||Vernon Philander South Africa||826|
|4||Ravindra Jadeja India||812|
|5||Trent Boult New Zealand||795|
|1||Virat Kohli||Virat Kohli||862|
|2||David Warner||David Warner||861|
|3||AB de Villiers||AB de Villiers||847|
|4||Joe Root||Joe Root||798|
|5||Kane Williamson||Kane Williamson||779|
|1||Josh Hazlewood||Josh Hazlewood||732|
|2||Imran Tahir||Imran Tahir||718|
|3||Mitchell Starc||Mitchell Starc||701|
|4||Kagiso Rabada||Kagiso Rabada||685|
|5||Sunil Narine||Sunil Narine||683|
|1||Aaron Finch Australia||891|
|2||Fakhar Zaman Pakistan||842|
|3||Lokesh Rahul India||812|
|4||Colin Munro New Zealand||801|
|5||Babar Azam Pakistan||765|
|1||Rashid Khan Afghanistan||793|
|2||Shadab Khan Pakistan||723|
|3||Ish Sodhi New Zealand||700|
|4||Yuzvendra Chahal India||685|
|5||Mitchell Santner New Zealand||665|
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