Narendra Modi hopes historic cricket match will boost ties with Afghanistan

India vs Afghanistan Shikhar Dhawan breaks Virender Sehwag’s record

Shikhar Dhawan

WICKET! Yamin Ahmadzai removes Shikhar Dhawan for 107 as Mohammad Nabi takes a stunning catch at first slip to give the visitors their first-ever Test wicket.

The left-hander became the first Indian to do so in the one-off historic Test against Afghanistan at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. As "The Historic First" is all set to begin, an epic battle is likely on cards with a showdown between the Afghan spinners and Indian batsmen.

"I congratulate the people of Afghanistan as their cricket team plays their first worldwide test match". However, Rashid Khan had a ideal chance to dismiss the risky Dhawan in the 20 over, when the Afghans went for a review in an appeal for LBW.

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Dhawan's century came off just 88 balls and was punctuated with 19 fours and three sixes. India and Dhawan won't mind this though with fifty up in eleven overs.

On the eve of the historic match, Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai said his team faced sky-high expectations at home. With Vijay playing a sedate innings at the other end, Dhawan looked unstoppable and got to his seventh Test ton in mere 87 balls even as the famed Afghan spin trio of Mohammed Nabi, Rashid and Mujeeb Ur Rahman seemed all at sea with this format.

India also have a couple of new players in their squad, which will make Rahane's task of fielding the right combination a bit hard.

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An opening ceremony before the match will feature Will Smith singing Live It Up, the official anthem of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The regional bid proved more appealing this time and the North Americans even collected 11 votes from Africa.

India's sports minister, Rajyavardhan Rathore, shook hands with Afghan players before the match and read out a congratulatory statement from Modi.

India: Ajinkya Rahane (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur.

Speaking about the upcoming series he said: "As a Test team we can not take anyone for granted because cricket is a amusing game".

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also took to Twitter. "We tried very hard to get assurances and raised our concerns". The US hosted the World Cup in 1994, while the tournament was held twice in Mexico (1970 and 1986).

Those of you looking to catch the action online can access hotstar.com to watch the live streaming of India vs Afghanistan Test match.

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