We know they're a decent team, with (good) bowlers. "We all know the stats, but we don't focus on stats". He hasn't played Test cricket, so we have to look and see what happens. It is important that you do your best all the time. With a spin-heavy squad, the Afghans may be surely aiming for a fairy tale start to their Test journey as skipper Asghar Stanikzai also backed his spinners being better than the home trio of Ashwin, Jadeja and Kuldeep. But it boils down to how you handle the pressure on match-day. However, the coach Phil Simmons has now opened up about the players and their qualities. If anything, he only reinforced the message.
When asked about Stanikzai's remark that Afghan spinners are better than India's, Simmons said: "When you look at it, all spinners in this contest will be excellent".
We only had four players that crossover [from T20I squad]. "So, there are players you can't hide when they do well in domestic cricket". It shows that they have young talent coming up.
"When I played with them (Afghanistan) in Ireland, it was a little more greener than this and it still turned", he said.
India have a couple of selection conundrums to sort out before they step on to the park.
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The Bengaluru pitch is expected to have some grass on it, but Simmons hopes it will assist the spinners. There is no place for Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini and Karun Nair. Good areas from him but Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan play him comfortably.
And even before that they will have to counter the disconcerting bounce generated by Ishant Sharma and the pace worked up by Umesh Yadav.
Rahane, who is standing in as captain for Kohli, said his side will have to fight for victory. "Skill-wise, it won't make a difference, but our attitude [towards training] matters, if you have to make a quick switch in terms of our mindset from T20s to Test cricket". That Afghanistan have no idea how hard it can get could be gauged from their skipper Asghar Stanikzai's pompous claims that his spinners are better than the home team. "Our attitude will remain the same on the field". Though they will be playing their first worldwide Test match, they could still have a meaningful impact on the result. 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. Along with the anticipation, there will also be a twinge of regret, mixed with some relief. I don't think he has played too many red-ball games.
Where will the India vs Afghanistan one-off Test match be played? We don't beat Virat.
"So we are disappointed he is not playing but a little bit happy that we are not going to bowl to him all the time", he added. "We are happy to be here and playing India, Virat is not India". "Virat is not India". Afghanistan's confidence stems from the exposure their ace spinners - leggie Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Rehman - have had in the IPL.