India Vs Afghanistan, One-Off Test: Shikhar Dhawan Hammers Century Before Lunch

Karun Nair looks to seal India berth. credit Twitter

The Afghans were granted one-day worldwide competitive status by the ICC in 2009, but the rigors of cricket's five-day Test format will be new to the Afghan players, making India the overwhelming favorite in the match. Their fielders were busy, Mohammad Shahzad was effervescent.

Salim Durani, 83, the former India all-rounder who was born in Afghanistan, was the special guest for the day. The leaders of both countries had sent their messages of support.

The smiles were soon wiped off their faces, though, as India opener Shikhar Dhawan took advantage of some palpable nerves from the Afghan bowlers to blast a stunning hundred before lunch.

"It is itself history that we are playing the inaugural and historic Test match against the number one team in the world", Stanikzai said. "Thanks to @BCCI for hosting @ACBofficials for this first test", Abdullah tweeted. Even to this day, pride and honour, remain a top priority, for this most resilient race of Asia. We are not thinking about Afghanistan as well: "yes, we respect them as our opponent but it's important for us to go out there and give more than our 100 per cent", said the batsman.

"The mood back home is that they are very positive and supportive and looking forward for the best performance".

Along with the caps they'd wear on the field, they were presented commemorative ones. The tea was taken by that time. "May sports continue to bring our people closer and strengthen ties".

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India is hoping that this piece of cricket diplomacy will help it earn more goodwill with the Afghan people at a time there is increasing uncertainty not just about the political situation in Kabul but also India's role in it.

"These achievements have come about in challenging and hard circumstances. This demonstrates the indomitable Afghan spirit to overcome all challenges and realise aspirations for a purposeful, stable, united and peaceful nation".

Skipper Virat Kohli is nursing a neck injury and undergoing rehabilitation in a bid to be fit in time for the impending tours of Ireland and England while pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested after a hectic IPL season.

Earlier this year, India had chose to undertake another batch of 108 community development projects in the war-torn country. The progress and development of Afghanistan cricket, both at junior level and with the national side, have not gone unnoticed by the Pathans, established all around the world, including in the UK.

"We will try to play good cricket". Being unable to host an worldwide match in its own country, New Delhi has also provided the venue for the Afghan team to play matches against Ireland and Bangladesh.

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