Afghanistan gear up for momentous first men's Test

It is a chance for their gifted players to enter the individual rankings after making a mark in limited overs cricket.
©International Cricket Council

• Asghar Stanikzai: “It’s a great moment for us as we embark on our Test journey. To be competing against the best on the Test rankings table is something to be proud of”

• Ajinkya Rahane: “It’s a privilege to be playing in Afghanistan’s first Test match. It’s a historic moment for them and an opportunity for us to be part of the occasion”

• For more on Afghanistan’s historic first Test against India in Bengaluru and continuous coverage, log on to icc-cricket.com

• Mendis, Dowrich, Chase and Kumara gain in rankings update after Port of Spain Test

It will be a dream debut for newest Test nation Afghanistan, as they take on the world’s top-ranked team, India, in their first Test in Bengaluru from Thursday.

Afghanistan, who have fast established themselves as a force to reckon with in the shorter formats, will become the 12th side to figure in men’s Test cricket after Ireland debuted against Pakistan last month. Both Ireland and Afghanistan were granted Full Member and Test status last June.

The one-off Test against India will be Afghanistan’s first step towards being ranked on the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings and a chance for their gifted players to enter the individual rankings after making a mark in limited overs cricket. India stand to lose three points if they lose this match but their number-one position is under no threat, thanks to a 13-point lead over South Africa.

Rashid Khan is No.1 on the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Rankings for bowlers
©International Cricket Council

Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai: “It’s a great moment for us as we embark on our Test journey. To be playing our first Test against India is a great honour and we hope to give a good account of ourselves.

“To be competing against the best on the Test rankings table is something to be proud of and we will try to do our best in whatever chances we get and exhibit the skills the players possess individually as well as collectively as a team.”

India captain Ajinkya Rahane: “It’s a privilege to be playing in Afghanistan’s first Test match. It’s a historic moment for them and an opportunity for us to be part of the occasion. 

“They have a fine team and some talented players who have proved themselves in shorter formats. I’m sure they are looking forward to do the same in Test cricket. On behalf of the Indian team, I wish them all the best.”

India are without regular captain and second-ranked Virat Kohli for this Test but the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara (sixth), Rahane (18th) and opener Lokesh Rahul (19th) in batting and former top-ranked spinners Ravindra Jadeja (fourth) and Ravichandran Ashwin (fifth) among bowlers will be looking to improve their positions on the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings.

Afghanistan’s spinners will be in focus too as Rashid Khan (top-ranked in T20Is, second in ODIs) and Mohammad Nabi (eighth in T20Is, 16th in ODIs) look to make a mark in Test cricket. Among batsmen, Rahmat Shah is their leading player in ODIs at 32nd position.

Meanwhile, the first of three Tests between the Windies and Sri Lanka in Port of Spain has seen Kusal Mendis move towards the top 10 with his valiant second innings century that came in a 226-run loss, their first to the Windies in 10 years.

The opener’s second innings score of 102 has lifted him three places to 16th position while Windies player Shane Dowrich has moved up 20 places to 66th position after compiling an unbeaten 125 in the first innings that came in a 468-minute vigil and earned him the Player of the Match award.

Among bowlers, Shannon Gabriel (up one place to 23rd), Jason Holder (up one place to 35th) and Roston Chase (up four places to 51st) are the main gainers for the home side while for Sri Lanka, Suranga Lakmal (up one place to 30th), Lahiru Kumara (up 14 places to 54th) and Angelo Mathews (up one place to 72nd) are the ones to move up.

The Test team rankings, unlike the ODI and T20I rankings, are updated after the end of the series and the Test predictor function is available here.

MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings (as of 11 June, before the one-off India-Afghanistan Test match in Bengaluru)

Rank Team Points
1 India 125
2 South Africa 112
3 Australia 106
4 New Zealand 102
5 England 97
6 Sri Lanka 94
7 Pakistan 88
8 Bangladesh 75
9 Windies 67
10 Zimbabwe 2


Also played: Ireland – 1 match, 0 points
Yet to play their first Test: Afghanistan.

(Developed by David Kendix)

MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings (as of 11 June, after the 1st Test between the Windies and Sri Lanka in Port of Spain and before the one-off Test between India and Afghanistan in Bengaluru ):

Batsmen (top 10)

Rank (+/-) Player Team Pts Avge Highest Rating
1 ( - ) Steve Smith Aus 929 61.37 947 v SA at Durban 2018
2 ( - ) Virat Kohli Ind 912! 53.4 912 v SA at Johannesburg 2018
3 ( - ) Joe Root Eng 855 52.28 917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015
4 ( - ) Kane Williamson NZ 847 50.35 893 v Aus at Perth 2015
5 ( - ) David Warner Aus 820 48.2 880 v NZ at Perth 2015
6 ( - ) C. Pujara Ind 810 50.51 888 v SL at Nagpur 2017
7 ( - ) Dean Elgar SA 784! 42.58 784 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018
8 ( - ) Aiden Markram SA 759*! 55.55 759 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018
9 ( - ) Hashim Amla SA 726 48.03 907 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2013
10 ( - ) D. Chandimal SL 716 43.55 746 v Ban at Chittagong 2018


Other selected rankings

Rank (+/-) Player Team Pts Avge Highest Rating
16 (+3) Kusal Mendis SL 667 37.87 692 v Aus at Galle 2016
18 -1 Ajinkya Rahane Ind 660 43.68 825 v NZ at Indore 2016
19 -1 Lokesh Rahul Ind 657* 40.5 761 v SL at Pallekele 2017
66 (+20) Shane Dowrich Win 443* 27.8 447 v Pak at Jamaica 2017
86 (+1) Dilruwan Perera SL 355 20.66 388 v Pak at Dubai 2017


Bowlers (top 10)

Rank (+/-) Player Team Pts Avge Highest Rating
1 ( - ) Kagiso Rabada SA 897 21.59 902 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2018
2 ( - ) James Anderson Eng 892 27.23 896 v Win at Lord's 2017
3 ( - ) Vernon Philander SA 845 21.46 912 v Ind at Johannesburg 2013
4 ( - ) Ravindra Jadeja Ind 844 23.73 899 v Aus at Ranchi 2017
5 ( - ) R. Ashwin Ind 803 25.56 904 v Eng at Mumbai 2016
6= ( - ) Morne Morkel SA 800! 27.66 800 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018
  ( - ) Pat Cummins Aus 800*! 23.81 800 v SA at Johannesburg 2018
8 ( - ) Trent Boult NZ 795 27.84 825 v Eng at Lord's 2015
9 ( - ) Rangana Herath SL 767 28.26 867 v Zim at Harare 2016
10 ( - ) Neil Wagner NZ 765 28.26 785 v Win at Wellington 2017


Other selected rankings

Rank (+/-) Player Team Pts Avge Highest Rating
23 (+1) Shannon Gabriel Win 625* 33.85 636 v Eng at Headingley 2017
30 (+1) Suranga Lakmal SL 538 43.15 544 v Ind at Kolkata 2017
35 (+1) Jason Holder Win 499*! 37.83 499 v SL at Trinidad 2018
51 (+4) Roston Chase Win 313*! 44.85 313 v SL at Trinidad 2018
54 (+14) Lahiru Kumara SL 292*! 42.4 292 v Win at Trinidad 2018
72 (+1) Angelo Mathews SL 167* 52.66 246 v Ind at Colombo (SSC) 2015


All-rounders (top five)

Rank (+/-) Player Team Pts Highest Rating
1 ( - ) Shakib Al Hasan Ban 420 489 v Aus at Mirpur 2017
2 ( - ) Ravindra Jadeja Ind 390 438 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2017
3 ( - ) Vernon Philander SA 371 376 v Aus at Cape Town 2014
4 ( - ) R. Ashwin Ind 367 493 v Eng at Mohali 2016
5 ( - ) Ben Stokes Eng 327/* 396 v Win at Lord's 2017


*indicates provisional rating; a batsman qualifies for a full rating after playing 40 Test innings; a bowler qualifies for a full rating when he reaches 100 Test wickets.

! indicates career-highest rating
 
For more information on player rankings, please click here.

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