The Afghanistan cricket team is leaving no stone unturned to acclimatise and train in the Indian conditions leading up to the Test match in Bengaluru from June 14.
While its T20 specialists prepare to combat Bangladesh in the first of the three-match T20 series at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Dehradun on Sunday, the Test exclusives will begin their training at the Abhimanyu Cricket Academy.
The academy — with modern state-of-the-art facilities in the foothills of Uttarakhand — is around 12 kilometres from the stadium and is owned by R. P. Easwaran, father of Bengal cricketer Abhimanyu Easwaran.
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“They are going to come from Sunday. The Test players are going to be training at my academy,” Easwaran told Sportstar on Saturday.
The Afghans will only use the facilities and haven’t asked for in-house trainers.
Umesh Patwal, a part of Afghanistan’s coaching staff, did a recce to finalise ACA as one of the training centres for the tourist. “Patwal was here and he saw the academy. They will start practising around 9:30 am and it is expected to go on till about 12 pm. The players, I am told, are going to train here as long as they are in Dehradun,” he added.
Due to the packed schedule, the Afghans had started training in two batches on arrival — the Test players in the morning and the T20 group in the evening. The ACA, perhaps, will lessen their stress.
Five of the team’s players — captain Asghar Stanikzai, Mohammad Shahzad, Rashid Khan, Mujeed Zadran and Mohammad Nabi — feature in both the squads.