We were excited, nervous at the start: Afghanistan pacer Yamin Ahmadzai
Yamin Ahmadzai created history for Afghanistan by snaring the first wicket on their Test baptism, removing India opener Shikhar Dhawan for 107 off a slanting delivery which moved away after pitching.
Although Afghanistan struggled massively in the first two sessions leaking runs and looking a bit lost in the middle, the team did manage to pull things back in the last session by taking five wickets and almost drying up the runs, although the hosts finished on 347/6 in 78 overs on a rain-hit day at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday.
Minutes after stumps on Day 1, Yamin described how he and his teammates went through an emotional rollercoaster as they took to the field against India in their maiden Test. Yamin said he got a bit emotional when he received his Test cap.
“I think for a cricketer a Test cap is the most important thing of his career. Same thing for me also. I can’t describe it in words but when we finally stepped on to the ground, we were excited and also nervous. But in the end it was a good experience,” said Yamin, who finished with 2/32 runs in 13 overs.
As India plowed through with Dhawan and Murali Vijay batting fluently, it was Yamin who provided the first breakthrough. He accounted for KL Rahul also, starting the third session which Afghanistan dominated. The team was given a pep talk by skipper Asghar Stanikzai after the first session and the 25-year-old said it worked.
“All the bowlers were told to stop the flow of runs and not to experiment too much in search of a wicket,” Yamin said.
He praised Rashid Khan’s comeback after going for runs. The leg-spinner conceded just 15 runs in the last session, sending down nine overs and picking up one wicket. More importantly, he troubled the batsmen with variations, something he had struggled with earlier in the day.
“In the last session, he tried to bowl wicket to wicket and the ball was also gripping. In the first session, the ball was new and was not gripping at all,” Yamin said.
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