9:31 IST: Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay out in the middle to open the innings. This is a comeback Test for Dhawan as he dropped for the final two Tests against South Africa earlier this year. KL Rahul will take Virat Kohli’s place at number four.
9:30 IST: Prime Ministers of both the countries have a message. Here is the message from Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan-
Afghanistan President: “As President of Afghanistan, I welcome their maiden Test match against India. I am proud of the men who championed cricket in Afghanistan in the dawn of the century and believed in themselves that one day Afghanistan will play against the best in the world. Today is that historic day. On behalf of all Afghans I pay tribute to their contribution to the game of cricket and honour them for their contribution to the game. India and now Afghanistan are now two major Asian forces in cricket. We thank India and BCCI for their role in the development in Afghanistan cricket, and for organizing this match, and also request other Test-playing nations to organize Test series against Afghanistan.”
9:01 IST: Ajinkya Rahane wins the toss and the Indian captain has decided to bat first. No comeback for Karun Nair in playing XI as he will sit out of the game along with Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur.
Ishant Sharma is fit and will spearhead the pace attack. Talking of the openers, with Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan will open the winnings.
For Afghanistan, Shahzad will not be keeping the wickets and it will be Afsar Zazai who will perform the duties. Here is the playing XI of both the teams –
India playing XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane(c), Lokesh Rahul, Dinesh Karthik(w), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav.
Afghanistan (Playing XI): Mohammad Shahzad, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Stanikzai(c), Afsar Zazai(w), Mohammad Nabi, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Yamin Ahmadzai, Wafadar.
The toss ceremony kicked off with Salim Durani, former India all-rounder, giving a memento to Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai. He was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. Dave Richarson, CEO of ICC, also felicitated Stanikzai.
Rajyardhan Singh Rathore, Olympic silver medallist and now the Sports Minister of India, also met the players of both the teams after the toss. And now, there is a presentation ceremony in presence of players and officials.
8:56 IST: Sunil Gavaskar and Simon Doull reckon that team winning the toss will be bowling first to get the early advantage from the pitch. “There’s grass cover, especially in the good length areas. It’s also slightly moist, so there will be some lateral movement off the pitch, and some skid off the pitch as well. Seam movement. Overcast conditions might play a role in the swinging ball as well, and the team winning the toss will most likely look to bowl first. A rather unlikely call in Bengaluru,” they said
8:45 IST: Considering that there are chances of rain, the team winning the toss might look to bowl first to reap the advantage of the overcast conditions. Toss just 15 minutes away.
8:18 IST: We are just 40 minutes away from the toss. It remains to be seen whether all the three openers will play for India or will Karun Nair make his comeback in the playing XI? For Afghanistan, the question will be how many spinners they include in the playing XI for the one-off Test.
Welcome to live coverage of one-off Test between Ajinkya Rahane’s India and Asghar Stanikzai’s Afghanistan which will be played at M Chinnaswamy stadium. A new sun will rise for Afghanistan when they will officially become the 12th team to play Test cricket in the 141 years of the history of the game. They have endured enough pain on their journey to the historic day but they walloped each and every hurdle, showing enough signs of rapid progress to rise to the top level of the game. The Asghar Stanikzai-led team will face hosts India in their first ever Test match. The home team is without their regular captain, Virat Kohli. Ajinkya Rahane will lead the team in his absence with an almost full-fledged squad.