NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday congratulated the people of Afghanistan ahead of their cricket team's first-ever international Test match against India in Bengaluru.
The PM took to Twitter and said, ''I congratulate the people of Afghanistan as their cricket team plays their first international Test match. Glad that they have chosen to play the historic match with India.''
''Best wishes to both teams! May sports continue to bring our people closer and strengthen ties,'' PM Modi tweeted.
I congratulate the people of Afghanistan as their cricket team plays their first international test match. Glad that they have chosen to play the historic match with India. Best wishes to both teams! May sports continue to bring our people closer and strengthen ties.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 14, 2018
The first-ever international Test match between the two sides will be played in Bengaluru's M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Ajinkya Rahane will lead India while Asghar Stanikzai will be leading the visiting team.
As they play against India, Afghanistan will officially become the 12th team to play Test cricket in the 131 years of the history of the game.
Before the match, skipper Ajinkya Rahane has said that his side will not be going to take the visitors lightly.
On his turn, Afghanistan skipper Asghar Stanikzai stated that his side has got better spinners than India.
Teen sensation Rashid and fellow spinners Mujeeb ur Rahman, Zahir Khan and Hamza Hotak have been named in the 16-member Afghanistan squad for the inaugural one-off Test match against India.
India, on the other hand, will be without their star skipper Virat Kohli, who decided to skip the historic Test for his maiden English county stint but was later sidelined with a neck injury.
In Kohli's absence, India are most likely to call up their star spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, the world's fourth and fifth-ranked Test bowlers respectively.
However, Stanikzai backed his side's spinners saying that Rashid Khan and the other are stronger than the Indian spinners.
"The whole world knows that we have very good spinners in Rashid Khan, Mujeeb, Nabi, Rahmat, Zahir," Stanikzai was quoted as saying by ESPN Cricinfo.