We’ve just over one week to go until India’s international cricketers take to the field once again so while the IPL is still fresh in our memories, we should now focus on the one-off test versus Afghanistan in Bangalore starting next Thursday, June 14.
It’s a historic occasion as India’s opponents become the newest member of the test cricket family and Ajinkya Rahane’s men now know who they are likely to face on the field.
International Cricket News
Afghanistan have named a sixteen-man squad for the match and there are few surprises for those who have been following their development as a cricket playing nation. Spin is their strength and therefore four slow men have been included in the squad with Rashid Khan the biggest threat to an Indian side who have rested some of their key batters.
Mujeeb ur Rahman, Zahir Khan and Hamza Hotak are the other spinners in a squad which is led by skipper Asghar Stanikzai and it would be no surprise to see at least three of the slow men included in Afghanistan’s starting XI.
Other familiar names in the squad of sixteen include Mohammad Nabi, who featured for Sunrisers Hyderabad at IPL 11, plus Mohammad Shahzad, the hard hitting wicket keeper who has played in 130 limited overs games for his country.
Domestic Cricket News
Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma are leaving their English counties behind to join up with India’s test squad ahead of that Afghanistan game. For Pujara, the first class season with Yorkshire was a poor one but he found form in the 50 Over Royal London Cup with a number of high double figure scores.
It’s a quiet time in terms of domestic news but a number of high profile Indian players, led by test skipper Virat Kohli at Surrey, will now be heading to England post-IPL so an exciting period is on the way.
A number of Afghanistan’s test squad will be warming up over the next few days with a three-match T20 series against Bangladesh. The Afghans have already won the first game by a heavy margin of 45 runs as they dismissed their opponents for just 122 in Dehra.
Two further matches will be played this week with Afghanistan favourites to seal that series.
Elsewhere, England beat Pakistan inside three days at Leeds, thereby levelling the two-match test series between the sides. The tourists had impressed during the first game at Lord’s but England’s bowlers dominated the second match as the hosts sealed victory by an innings and 55 runs.
England will now play a one-off ODI against Scotland on Sunday June 10 and along with the Afghanistan v Bangladesh series we also have the first test between West Indies and Sri Lanka starting this Wednesday June 6.
There’s lots, therefore, to look forward to in the coming week so join us in seven days as we round up those games and look ahead to that historic test between India and Afghanistan.