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Afghanistan gear up for momentous first men's Test

Afghanistan Stanikzai
It is a chance for their gifted players to enter the individual rankings after making a mark in limited overs cricket.

• 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
Rashid Khan is No.1 on the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Rankings for bowlers


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)

RankTeamPoints
1India125
2South Africa112
3Australia106
4New Zealand102
5England97
6Sri Lanka94
7Pakistan88
8Bangladesh75
9Windies67
10Zimbabwe2


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(+/-)PlayerTeamPtsAvgeHighest Rating
1( - )Steve SmithAus92961.37947 v SA at Durban 2018
2( - )Virat KohliInd912!53.4912 v SA at Johannesburg 2018
3( - )Joe RootEng85552.28917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015
4( - )Kane WilliamsonNZ84750.35893 v Aus at Perth 2015
5( - )David WarnerAus82048.2880 v NZ at Perth 2015
6( - )C. PujaraInd81050.51888 v SL at Nagpur 2017
7( - )Dean ElgarSA784!42.58784 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018
8( - )Aiden MarkramSA759*!55.55759 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018
9( - )Hashim AmlaSA72648.03907 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2013
10( - )D. ChandimalSL71643.55746 v Ban at Chittagong 2018


Other selected rankings

Rank(+/-)PlayerTeamPtsAvgeHighest Rating
16(+3)Kusal MendisSL66737.87692 v Aus at Galle 2016
18-1Ajinkya RahaneInd66043.68825 v NZ at Indore 2016
19-1Lokesh RahulInd657*40.5761 v SL at Pallekele 2017
66(+20)Shane DowrichWin443*27.8447 v Pak at Jamaica 2017
86(+1)Dilruwan PereraSL35520.66388 v Pak at Dubai 2017


Bowlers (top 10)

Rank(+/-)PlayerTeamPtsAvgeHighest Rating
1( - )Kagiso RabadaSA89721.59902 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2018
2( - )James AndersonEng89227.23896 v Win at Lord's 2017
3( - )Vernon PhilanderSA84521.46912 v Ind at Johannesburg 2013
4( - )Ravindra JadejaInd84423.73899 v Aus at Ranchi 2017
5( - )R. AshwinInd80325.56904 v Eng at Mumbai 2016
6=( - )Morne MorkelSA800!27.66800 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018
 ( - )Pat CumminsAus800*!23.81800 v SA at Johannesburg 2018
8( - )Trent BoultNZ79527.84825 v Eng at Lord's 2015
9( - )Rangana HerathSL76728.26867 v Zim at Harare 2016
10( - )Neil WagnerNZ76528.26785 v Win at Wellington 2017


Other selected rankings

Rank(+/-)PlayerTeamPtsAvgeHighest Rating
23(+1)Shannon GabrielWin625*33.85636 v Eng at Headingley 2017
30(+1)Suranga LakmalSL53843.15544 v Ind at Kolkata 2017
35(+1)Jason HolderWin499*!37.83499 v SL at Trinidad 2018
51(+4)Roston ChaseWin313*!44.85313 v SL at Trinidad 2018
54(+14)Lahiru KumaraSL292*!42.4292 v Win at Trinidad 2018
72(+1)Angelo MathewsSL167*52.66246 v Ind at Colombo (SSC) 2015


All-rounders (top five)

Rank(+/-)PlayerTeamPtsHighest Rating
1( - )Shakib Al HasanBan420489 v Aus at Mirpur 2017
2( - )Ravindra JadejaInd390438 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2017
3( - )Vernon PhilanderSA371376 v Aus at Cape Town 2014
4( - )R. AshwinInd367493 v Eng at Mohali 2016
5( - )Ben StokesEng327/*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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