Bangalore - Afghanistan's
fairytale entry into Test cricket ended in a bruising defeat inside two
days by world No 1 team India on Friday.
India bowled out Afghanistan twice in a day as they completed a crushing innings and 262 runs win over the outclassed debutants.
Cricket has become the national sport of the country torn apart by
decades of war but the first five-day game turned into a Test of fire
for the Afghans.
Ravindra Jadeja took four wickets as India skittled out Afghanistan
for 103 in the final session while following on at Bangalore's M
The second innings lasted just 38.4 overs with Hashmatullah Shahidi top-scoring with an unbeaten 36.
Earlier the Afghans fell for 109 in 27.5 overs in their first innings, seeking to counter a formidable Indian score of 474.
It was the 21st time that a Test had finished inside two days and
just the fourth that a team was bowled out twice in a day. Afghanistan
also batted the fewest overs for a team in their Test debut.
"We were surprised by how quickly things ended because we were a good team," said Afghan skipper Ashgar Stanikzai.
"Test cricket is totally different from T20 and one day matches. But
this was good for us and good for the future. We have a lot of time and
we will work on our weaknesses" he added.
Ravichandran Ashwin got last man Wafadar bowled for nought to
complete the win after Umesh Yadav rattled the Afghan top order with
three early strikes.
Hashmatullah Shahidi stuck around for 88 balls trying to salvage some
pride by taking the match into a third day but the Indian bowling was
Jadeja returned figures of 4-17 with his left-arm spin after Ashwin had also got four wickets in Afghanistan's first innings.
The Afghan players,
many of whom learned their cricket in refugee camps in Pakistan, got a
bitter taste of the rigours of the five-day game early on day one.
"The learning curve is huge, it's a mountain to climb. But they want
to succeed and they work very hard but now we know that we have to work
five times as hard," said Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons.
"I believe we will get there," the former West Indian allrounder added.
Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay laid the foundations
of the big win during with a 168-run partnership on day one that exposed
the Afghan bowlers' inexperience.
Dhawan, who smashed a merciless 107, and Vijay, who made 105, hit the
Afghan spinners including teen sensation Rashid Khan to all parts of
Afghanistan took four Indian wickets late on Thursday to raise hopes of a fightback.
But Hardik Pandya's aggressive 71 kept the hosts in control of the one-off game.
India skipper Ajinkya Rahane felt for his opponents and said Afghanistan will make the step up.
"The more and more they play, they will learn. It's just the beginning for them," Rahane told reporters.
"You cannot blame them," he added. "They tried their best. Test
cricket is all about attitude and patience and they have been playing a
lot of T20 cricket.
"With their bowling they can damage any team. They need to learn with
their batting. If two or three guys can bat for a long period then they
can be a decent side," said India's stand-in skipper.
Afghan paceman Yamin Ahmadzai made his presence felt with figures of
3-51 while fellow paceman Wafadar and spin sensation Rashid Khan picked
up two wickets each.
Afghanistan were only made full members of the International Cricket
Council last year along with Ireland, who lost their debut Test to
Pakistan last month.