Tuesday, October 16, 2018 | ePaper

Rahane says 'ruthless' India will not take Afghans lightly

  • Print


Afghanistan cricket team captain Asghar Stanikzai smiles as he listens to a question during a press conference before attending a training session ahead of one-off Test match against India in Bangalore, India on Wednesday.

AFP, Bangalore :
Top-ranked India will be "ruthless" and not take Afghanistan lightly when they make their Test debut in Bangalore, skipper Ajinkya Rahane said Wednesday.
It will be a historic moment for Asghar Stanikzai's team when they step out on Thursday for their maiden five-day outing against the world's number one Test side.
But Rahane, who is standing in as captain for Virat Kohli, said there was no room for complacency in cricket.
"We are not ging to take Afghanistan lightly. They have a decent team… bowlers (are good)," he told reporters on the eve of the one-off Test.
"As a Test team we cannot take anyone for granted because cricket is a funny game. We want to go out there and be ruthless.
"We are going to focus on our strengths, our positives. 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 top-order batsman.
The strife-torn nation secured Test status last year along with Ireland, who lost their debut match to Pakistan in Dublin last month.
Since gaining ODI status in 2009 the Afghans have made giant strides and qualified for their second 50-over World Cup in England and Wales next year. They have also been part of four Twenty20 World Cups.
Rahane said it would be an "honour" for every Indian player to be part of the match and acknowledged Afghanistan's big moment on the cricket field.
Stanikzai has insisted that his team's spin department led by teen sensation Rashid Khan is better than India's.
Khan, the top T20 bowler in ICC rankings, took the Indian Premier League by storm with his 21 wickets for runners-up Sunrisers Hyderabad, and mystery spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman also impressed in the cash-rich tournament.
Rahane refused to draw comparisons between the spin attacks of the two teams, but praised the experience of India's Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja as well as the talent of Kuldeep Yadav.
"Every member of their team believes that their side is good, that their bowling attack or their batting unit is much better," Rahane said.
"We all know the stats but we don't focus on them. Our spinners, Ashwin, Jadeja and Kuldeep are experienced and quality spinners."
Rahane, who captained Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, said it was important now for his team's players to switch mentally from T20 mode to playing in the longest format.
"A couple of practice session were fantastic after coming back from the IPL," he said.
"It's important we play our minds rather than skills, because getting back to Test from T20 cricket is all about tuning your mind rather than focusing on your skills."

More News For this Category

Australia target first Asia series win since 2011 - Paine

Australian skipper Tim Paine vowed his team would do its utmost to win the second Test against Pakistan starting in Abu Dhabi from Tuesday for a first series win in

Hazratullah Zazai smashes six 6s in an over in APL

Hazratullah Zazai smashes six 6s in an over in APL

Hazratullah Zazai became the first Afghanistan batsman to smash six 6s in an over. The Kabul Zwanan batsman registered the rare feat against Abdullah Mazari in the fourth over of

Jayasuriya charged under anti-corruption code

Jayasuriya charged under anti-corruption code

Dashing former Sri Lankan batsman and ex-chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya has been charged for not cooperating with a match-fixing probe and concealing information, the International Cricket Council said Monday."The International

Finger injury rules Amla out of short Australian tour

Finger injury rules Amla out of short Australian tour

Opening batsman Hashim Amla will continue to be absent from the South African squad as the veteran is yet to recover completely from his finger injury. South Africa are set

India ready to unleash 'fearless' Shaw, Pant on Australia

India ready to unleash 'fearless' Shaw, Pant on Australia

"Fearless" young batting stars Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant will be India's special weapons during their upcoming tour of Australia, according to captain Virat Kohli.Hailing the roles of 18-year-old Shaw

2019 World Cup will be my last: Malinga

Lasith Malinga, who was the star performer of the day for Sri Lanka with a fifer has informed that 2019 World Cup will be his last World Cup if he

Imrul Kayes during the practice session of Bangladesh National Cricket team at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the city's Mirpur on Sunday.

Imrul Kayes during the practice session of Bangladesh National Cricket team at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the city's Mirpur on Sunday.

Sarfraz Ahmed faces questions over 2nd Test tactics, team composition

Sarfraz Ahmed faces questions over 2nd Test tactics, team composition

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed faces some searching questions to answer for the second Test against Australia over his bowling attack and batting lineup after Tim Paine's side produced a battling

Rajshahi Kings sign Jonker and Qais

Rajshahi Kings sign Jonker and Qais

For the upcoming season of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), Rajshahi Kings have signed South African batsman Chrisitaan Jonker and teenage Afghan bowler Qais Ahmed.On Saturday, Rajshahi Kings confirmed the

Umesh Yadav sets up India for 10-wicket win over Windies in 2nd Test

Umesh Yadav sets up India for 10-wicket win over Windies in 2nd Test

On the back of excellent bowling effort from seamer Umesh Yadav, India defeated West Indies by 10 wickets in the 2nd Test in Hyderabad on Sunday. The right-arm seamer picked