India play host to Afghanistan in the historic one-off Test beginning on Thursday at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. India's wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik is looking forward to playing against Afghanistan in their maiden outing in Test whites. "Their journey has been an inspiration for international cricket. Everyone knows it's a tough place and the turmoil that they are going through, but in spite of that they are able to inspire people with their performances," Karthik was quoted to as saying by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Spinners Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb ur Rahman form a vital triumvirate of the Afghanistan team. These three have been popular picks in Twenty20 leagues around the world, especially the Indian Premier League (IPL).
In the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2018 in New Zealand earlier this year, Afghanistan finished fourth, demonstrating again the strength of their age-group riches.
To get so far with limited resources and infrastructure is credit to them, said Karthik on Tuesday, June, ahead of the start of the one-off Test on Thursday.
"They're able to produce big players even in a tournament like the IPL (Indian Premier League)," pointed out Karthik. "They have some key players who are producing some big performances for them. I'm happy to see a country like that doing so well in cricket. Today, they are household names in the few years they've played. It's only going to get better. I genuinely hope they have the opportunity to play a lot of Test cricket."
The Test against India will be Afghanistan's first step towards being ranked on the ICC Test Team Rankings and a chance for the players to enter the individual rankings after making a mark in limited overs cricket.
Should India lose the encounter, they will lose three points. However, their number-one position is under no threat, courtesy to a 13-point lead over South Africa.