International cricket is back this week as India take on Afghanistan in what is a landmark game for the sport as a whole. The newest test nation joins the family on Thursday and naturally, much of the focus has been on the Afghans in the lead up to the match in Bengaluru.
International Cricket News
We shouldn’t be too surprised that Afghanistan are dominating the headlines ahead of Thursday’s test. It’s a historic game and the wider cricket world is excited about their debut and fascinated to see if they can compete against a strong and established international side.
Most of the focus has been on the spinners and that’s where the tourists’ strengths lie. Afghanistan’s Asghar Stanikzai has said that his side possess the better slow men while key player Rashid Khan has stated that the emergence of Mujeeb Ur Rahman takes the pressure away from him as the pivotal bowler.
The Indian camp has been quieter in contrast but the side was forced into a change with Dinesh Karthik earning a recall in place of the injured Wriddhiman Saha.
Domestic Cricket News
With Virat Kohli having to pull out of his proposed stint with English county side Surrey, there is little to report in terms of domestic news. There is, however, a breaking item from India A’s tour of England which starts on Sunday June 17 with a match against Yorkshire.
Sanju Samson, who had been hoping to get his international career back on track, has been withdrawn from the tour after failing the ‘yo yo test’ – the new benchmark for individual fitness. At the time of writing, there was no news in terms of a replacement for a tour which features a tri-series against England Lions and West Indies A, following those warm up matches against Yorkshire and Leicestershire.
Scotland recorded a historic win on Sunday as they beat the number one ranked team in ODI cricket. The Scots were unlucky to miss out on qualification for next year’s World Cup but they exacted their revenge on old enemy England, winning by six runs in Edinburgh.
The hero was Callum Mcleod who battered a weak England bowling attack and finished with an unbeaten 140 in a total of 371/5. Jonny Bairstow smashed a quick century in reply but England fell six runs short to hand Scotland the most significant win in their history.
Elsewhere, West Indies completed an impressive win over the touring Sri Lankans. After Shane Dowrich’s century took the home side to 414/8 on first innings, Sri Lanka were always chasing the game and the Windies eventually sealed victory by 226 runs on the final day.
The second test in that series starts this Thursday, June 14, and there’s lots to enjoy in the ODI arena with England playing Australia and a buoyant Scotland taking on Pakistan.
Join us in seven days’ time as we round up those games and, of course, we will update you on that test match between India and Afghanistan.