In what will mark a historic moment, even beyond the world of cricket, for the war-torn nation of Afghanistan, the country will become only the 12th ever inaugurated into the exclusive club of Test cricket playing nations when they take on world powerhouse India — the world’s top-ranked test side, on the ICC points table — in a five-day match that will live stream from Bangalore, India, starting on Thursday.
“It’s a great moment for us as we embark on our Test journey,” said Afghan Captain Asghar Stanikzai, the second-most capped player on the Afghan side, in an interview with AFP news agency. “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.”
To find out how to watch a live stream of the Afghanistan Test cricket debut against host India, see the streaming information at the bottom of this article. First ball is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. India Standard Time on Thursday, June 14, at 40,000-seat M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, India. For fans in the United States, that start time will be midnight on Thursday morning in the Eastern Daylight Time zone, but 9 p.m. on Wednesday, June 13, Pacific Time.
The Afghans were granted one-day international competitive status by the ICC in 2009, but the rigors of cricket’s five-day Test format will be new to the Afghan players, making India the overwhelming favorite in the match. But don’t tell that to Stanizai, who says that his team’s spin bowlers will outduel India’s world-class veteran “spin twins, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, he boasted to the Times of India.
“In Afghanistan, the brilliant thing is that a lot of the young talent that is coming through are spinners, because they all follow Rashid (Khan), they follow (Mohammed) Nabi, so because of that our spin department is very strong from below,” the Afghan skipper said. “In my opinion, we have good spinners, better spinners than India.”
Whether the Afghan bravado holds up over 20 wickets across five days remains to be seen. But India Wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik believes that his side’s years of Test experience will simply prove too much for the visitors.
“The kind of improvement they have shown in white ball cricket is phenomenal. There is no reason why they cannot do it in test cricket and in time they will be even better bowlers than when they started off. But experience pays and it cannot be easily bought,” Karthik told Fox Sports. “It has been a beautiful journey for them. It is an inspiration for international cricket. Everyone knows Afghanistan is a tough place and the turmoil that they are going through, yet they are able to inspire people with their performances.”
Watch a preview of the inaugural Afghanistan Test cricket match when they face India on Thursday, in the video below courtesy of CricBuzz.
To watch a live stream of the India vs. Afghanistan first and only Test cricket match from Bangalore, India, in the United States, the only source is the U.S. affiliate of India streaming site Hotstar at this link. The service charges a $7.99 per month fee, but also offers a one-month free trial, allowing cricket fans to watch the history Test match for free simply by canceling the subscription before the one-month trial period concludes. The U.S. Hotstar service is also available on mobile phones and the Roku set-top streaming box by downloading the Hotstar app.
India’s Hotstar service will also live stream the Test match in that country. Access the Indian Hotstar site at this link.