Narendra Modi hopes historic cricket match will boost ties with Afghanistan

India vs Afghanistan Shikhar Dhawan breaks Virender Sehwag’s record

And in the fitness of things, they are playing their first ever Test match in Bangalore on Thursday against India - the world's wealthiest cricket nation which has groomed and mentored them.

In reality, the Indians have been more or less comfortable against the slower bowlers in the previous season barring the first Test against Australia in Pune a year ago.

Karthik has appreciated the spirit of Afghanistan players as he felt they have flourished themselves in conditions of turmoil.

In the first session, the Afghanistan bowlers seemed rather lacklustre, with little experience, and Shikhar Dhawan smashed them all around the ground.

Dhawan galloped to his century in just 87 deliveries, becoming the first Indian batsman to reach three figures on the opening day before lunch.

The Chinnaswamy Stadium was a hive of activity as officials from India and Afghanistan welcomed the newest Test nationred-ball cricket, the ICC reported.

The smiles were soon wiped off their faces, though, as India opener Shikhar Dhawan took advantage of some palpable nerves from the Afghan bowlers to blast a stunning hundred before lunch.

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Seamer Yamin Ahmadzai claimed Afghanistan´s first wicket in test cricket after the lunch break when Dhawan edged him to Rahmat Shah, who parried it towards the safe hands of Mohammad Nabi at first slip. Also hammered by Dhawan was Afghanistan premier turner Rashid Khan, who leaked runs at an economy rate of 6.16 runs per over. "May sports continue to bring our people closer and strengthen ties". "They have a decent team", he told reporters.

Led by Asghar Stanikzai, Afghanistan became the 12th Test playing nation after being awarded the full member status alongside Ireland in June past year. In two years, they have had household names (like Rashid).

Afghanistan have also been part of four Twenty20 World Cups. To note, they have won last six Test series at home.

The match between India and Afghanistan is labelled to be a historic one.

Last month, eight people were killed and dozens were wounded by multiple explosions at a cricket match in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, illustrating the difficulties the country has faced in developing sports.

Following a couple of rain delays, the Afghans improved dramatically and it was their seamers rather than their much-vaunted spinners who made the initial breakthroughs, much to the delight of a few clusters of flag-waving Afghan supporters in the stands.

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