BANGLADESH VS AFGHANISTAN, ONLY TEST
Nabi is retiring after three Tests. © BCCI
Afghanistan announced their arrival in the Test format in style, as they defeated Bangladesh in the one-off match at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on Monday.
The win probably means a lot more to the retiring Mohammad Nabi after he was given a guard of honour by his team mates after the game, as the old warrior of Afghan cricket waited for a long time to see this day.
“It’s a historic win because in this format, we are new. We have played only three games against India, Ireland and Bangladesh and we won two games. It means we are good in this format and it means that our domestic structure is strong. The youngsters, the way they are playing, the way they are adjusting to the conditions, it’s really a brilliant team. Maybe it’s a bright future as well for the youngsters to play in this format,” Nabi told reporters at the post-match press conference where he was sent instead of the winning captain.
“We had a 10-day preparation camp in Abu Dhabi. The experience for the first five days was terrible as the temperature was 46-47 (degrees Celsius). And when we came here, there was humidity but it was not that hot. We adjusted very quickly in these conditions. The preparation for the Test match was really good. That’s why the boys have performed both in batting and bowling departments.
“We put up good totals in both the innings. I will talk especially about the young guy Ibrahim. Recently he played here in with A team against Bangladesh A and he performed really well. It proved that he has the ability, he has talent to play in Test cricket,” he added.
Two sessions had to be called off on the final day due to rain and there was always an uncertainty for more over the course of the day’s play that witnessed a thrilling brand of spin bowling as the hosts looked hapless in front of them and could only survive 18.3 overs.
According to sources close to the dressing room, Afghanistan skipper Rashid Khan told his team mates that he was confident that they could take the required four wickets if there was even one hour of play.
Probably that injected the self-belief in the team and they managed to do the job when the sun eventually started shining against the hosts, who are known to be a tough opposition in their own backyard.
“I think its me and Rashid who have played here for last three to four years in the BPL. Everyone knows about us very well. Rashid is a totally different bowler. It is not easy to play him in such conditions. When we saw that pitch, we decided that the match will be finished in four days because both sides have good spinners. Our spinners are much better than Bangladesh’s and that’s why we were happy to see the pitch,” Nabi reckoned.
Nabi further said that it was like a dream come true for him to earn a Test cap and added that he wanted to make way for the youngsters.
“I had the dream to play Test cricket for Afghanistan. We have worked really hard for that in a short time. Not last 13 to 14 years, we have achieved that target seven to eight years. We struggled a lot, we had to prepare mentally, combine a team combination. We have played the Inter-Continental Cup three times and we won twice and were the runners-up once. It’s a very good result and because of that the ICC gave us Test status. And I am very happy to be part of that generation of Afghanistan.
“My plan is that the youngsters should be prepared for the next Tests as they are the future for us. That’s why I have decided to leave Test matches and focus on One-Day internationals and T20s,” Nabi concluded.