Afghanistan’s star all-rounder Mohammad Nabi has hailed the efforts of his team mates as “outstanding” as his side secured their first-ever Test win over Ireland.
The result made the Afghans the second quickest side to record a Test win, doing so in just their second game in the longest format.
“It's a very historic day for whole of Afghanistan,” said Nabi. “Every format is different. Test cricket has a different flavour to it. The way our guys performed in batting and bowling, the kind of comebacks that we did, the way Rahmat Shah and Ihsanullah batted was outstanding. Rashid's spell yesterday, the first time taking five wickets, it was a matter of great pride. It shows we are ready for Test cricket.”
The result was especially momentous considering how Afghanistan struggled in their first Test, when India took all 20 wickets in two sessions to record an innings victory. However, Nabi felt his side would always come good at some stage, pointing to their astonishing record in the first-class Intercontinental Cup competition. Afghanistan participated in the competition three times, in 2009-10, 2011-13, and 2015-17, and lost just a single game across all three campaigns.
“They are the number-one ranked Test side and they are the best in home conditions as well,” he said of India. “That's why we lost the game in two days. When you see the Intercontinental Cup games of Afghanistan we never lost any games except in the final against Ireland [in 2013]. All other games we won or were draws. It means we are a good team in Tests as well.”
Nabi also thinks that Afghanistan showing they can compete means more opportunities to play Tests against other teams should be forthcoming.
“When you win then the teams will tell you to come and play with them,” he said. “Nobody plays a weak team. They might think that Afghanistan is weak but not so much that we can't fight them. We have the world's best spinners and we are trying to concentrate on our batting line-up. If we can put up a good score on the board then we are confident of beating any team in the world.”
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