BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian captain Ajinkya Rahane won the toss and elected to bat against Afghanistan who make their test debut in the one-off match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday.
Led by Asghar Stanikzai, Afghanistan become the 12th test playing nation in less than two decades after being recognised by International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2001.
“It’s a very proud moment,” Stanikzai said at the toss. “All the guys have some first-class experience, but our first test, obviously.
“Maybe the first one hour it will be a good wicket for bowling.”
The visitors are playing two quicks in Wafadar and Yamin Ahmadzai, who will look to make full use of a grass-covered track in the opening session.
Rahane is leading the Indian side in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli, who is recovering from a neck injury.
Wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik, who replaces injured Wriddhiman Saha, returns to the test set-up for the first time since 2010.
India: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav.
Afghanistan: Asghar Stanikzai (captain), Mohammad Shahzad, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Nabi, Afsar Zazai (wicketkeeper), Rashid Khan, Yamin Ahmadzai, Wafadar, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty