India set to pitch it right in Afghanistan's Test debut

Jun 11, 2018, 08:24 IST | Satish Viswanathan

Are they nervous, sure they are, are they excited, most certainly as was apparent during their first net session in the city last afternoon

India set to pitch it right in Afghanistan's Test debut
Afghan skipper Asghar Stanikzai during a practice session in Bangalore yesterday. Pic/PTI

On Thursday, some fortunate players from Afghanistan will take the field for their as well as the nation's first ever Test. Are they nervous, sure they are, are they excited, most certainly as was apparent during their first net session in the city last afternoon. It was a rain-curtailed session, but the excitement in the camp was palpable.

Can the same be said about the Indian team set to play what will be the country's 522 Test? Well, the fact that the Indian skipper Virat Kohli had chosen to skip it for a stint in English County cricket (before an injury put paid to those plans), shows that the team isn't exactly excited.

But nervous, well that's another thing altogether, at least if you go by what a veteran cricket administrator and former player, had to say. "I just can't believe that for a nation's maiden Test, we are being asked to prepare a particular type of pitch. This would never have happened during our times," said a worthy to no one in particular, but more by way of lament. Whether he was hinting at instructions from the Indian team management is difficult to say. The official line was that it will be a good wicket.

"We are not preparing a wicket for India or Afghanistan, but for a good game of cricket. It will be a good five-day wicket with a little grass. The rain has hampered the preparations, but we are well-prepared," said K Sriram, the Karnataka State Cricket Association curator.

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