Indian bowlers consign Afghanistan to innings defeat in debut Test

India became the first Asian cricketing nation to win a Test match inside two days, with its bowlers needing only 66.3 overs to take 20 Afghanistan wickets and secure a victory by an innings and 262 runs.

Umesh Yadav reached 100 Test wickets when he picked the wicket of Rahmat Shah in the first innings, becoming the 22nd Indian bowlers to reach the landmark.   -  AP

Test cricket is all about patience. That’s something the new entrant, Afghanistan, lacked in its first-ever outing in the whites against India at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

And, the result was simple — Afghanistan was handed an innings and 262-run defeat by star-studded India to win the one-off Test. This, interestingly, was the 21st time when a Test match got over inside two days. Interestingly, this was the first time India was involved in a two-day Test finish.

As it happened

A side that has mostly been comfortable in the shorter version of the game, the task was bound to be challenging. But the way Afghanistan surrendered to Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in both the innings did raise question about the mindset of the players. After restricting India to 474 in the first innings, Afghanistan's batting went haywire — losing all its wickets for 109 in the first innings and being imposed a follow-on.

Ashwin scalped four wickets to put Afghanistan batsmen in the middle of nowhere. Coming into its first-ever Test, it was kind of obvious that the Afghan players would be put to test by Indian spinners. But with Ashwin setting the stage on fire — scalping four wickets — the Afghanistan found itself in the middle of nowhere.

As Afghanistan looked shaky throughout — with Mohammad Nabi being the highest scorer with 24 in the innings — Ashwin tightened the noose further.

Things, however, was no different in the second innings either. Not taking much lessons from its disaster in the first innings, the Afghanistan batsmen looked completely out of place and were bundled out for 103. For India, it was Jadeja’s turn to scalp four wickets and seal the deal for his team. Ashwin, too, chipped in with a wicket.

Though captain Stanikzai played a knock of 25 in the second innings, it was never enough to help the team come out of slumber. Hashmatullah Shahidi carried the bat — remaining unbeaten on 36 — but he looked helpless as wickets kept tumbling at the other end. If this performance by Afghanistan calls for introspection, Indian team will be happy with the way it maintained its domination over the new entrant.

There was every possibility of things going wrong for India, but then, right from the start, the host reigned supreme to ensure that there was never a slip-up.

Earlier, after starting at 347-6, India lost Ashwin early. But it was Hardik Pandya’s knock of 71 that firm India’s footing. Even though it was an achievement by the new entrant to bowl out India in the first innings, the fact that it did not take the new ball in the beginning of the day, cost Afghanistan dear.

While Yamin Ahmadzai was the pick of the bowlers — scalping three wickets for 51 runs — Rashid Khan and Wafadar Momand shared two wickets apiece.

Despite managing some opportunities, Afghanistan could not torment the Indian side because of a poor show in the fielding department. And taking advantage of that, India’s tail-enders ensured that they piled up the runs on the board. While Jadeja played a knock of 20, Umesh Yadav stitched a 34-run partnership with Ishant Sharma in the last wicket. Ishant was trapped leg before by Rashid for eight, Umesh remained unbeaten on 26.

But even after India’s innings got over, there were speculations in the stadium that the Afghanistan side could give a stiff competition to the host — rekindling memories of Bangladesh’s debut in 2000.

But then, with Afghanistan losing the plot completely, there was no surprise in store.

Not many thought the iconic Test will get over in just a couple of days, neither could the Board of Control for Cricket India. As the fixture got over far earlier than scheduled, none of the officials of the BCCI were present for the presentation ceremony. Sanjay Desai, the chief of Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA), had to hand over the trophy to India captain Akinkya Rahane.

Sources have confirmed to Sportstar that such a situation arose as the match got over unexpectedly 'earlier'.

"All the BCCI top bosses were present for the inaugural occasion yesterday. Who would have thought things would get over so early?" the source said. A similar incident happened during the Ranji Trophy final, where Vidarbha won the title with a day to spare. With none of the BCCI bosses around, Madhya Pradesh cricket administrator, Sanjay Jagdale, had to give away the awards. With things finishing off fast, BCCI was caught off guard.