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Afganistan face WI challenge in Ekana's maiden Test

27 Nov 2019 CricBuzz

After having dominated for the first four games of the tour, West Indies fell a bit wayward in a format that suits both them and Afghanistan the best. The hosts managed to beat the world champions in the last two games of the T20I series and gained some momentum, but it would count for little as the format flips to the exact opposite when the two sides take the field on Wednesday (November 27) in the Ekana Cricket Stadium's maiden Test.

Despite being outplayed against India in the home series earlier this year, West Indies look a far assured team in Tests with fewer issues to address, especially against teams that don't possess the kind of threat that India does. Their last visit to India may have been a forgetful one as a Test unit, but they are settling into finding their perfect blueprint in the longest format. One that has found ample success at home and one that has the resources to do well abroad as well. Batsmen who can occupy the crease for long periods and pacers that have the skills and stamina to keep coming hard at the batsmen. Their spin attack is thin, and that, if at all, could be their weak-link again.

Afghanistan, on the other hand, are still a young Test side, complementing their oppositions in every way to complete everything a competition can see. Their batsmen, despite the win against Ireland and Bangladesh, are yet to settle into the demands of the long format. There is a rush-of-blood tendency to their game, and even as they bat deep, they will need to apply themselves even better than they did the last time against Bangladesh. Also, much unlike West Indies they will rely on their spinners to bag those 20 wickets.

The contest doesn't form a part of the Test Championship but there is enough to play for. The hosts, still only three-Tests old, are yet to find their way, their best players and the best practices around the red-ball game, while for West Indies this one-off contest is crucial to find answers in the format during an almost one-year lull between the two-Test Championship series.

When:Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Where:Afghanistan vs West Indies, BRSABV Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow

What to expect:Showers are expected on the second and third day's play. But on other days, the weather looks good - bright and sunny. It will be interesting to see how the pitch plays out across five days in Lucknow's Ekana Stadium which is hosting its maiden Test, given that several six matches between the two sides have taken place in recent weeks.

Team News:

Afghanistan:Hamza Hotak and Nijat Masood, who performed well in the limited-overs leg, could make their Test debut.

Squad:Rashid Khan (c), Asghar Afghan, Ihsanullah Janat, Ibrahim Zadran, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Karim Janat, Qais Ahmed, Ikram Alikhiel (wk), Afsar Zazai, Nasir Jamal, Zahir Khan, Yamin Ahmadzai, Hamza Hotak, Nijat Masood.

West Indies: If West Indies decide to hand the keeping gloves to Shai Hope, both Sunil Ambris and Shamarh Brooks will get a look in. If not, Shane Dowrich will come in for either of them. They could play three spinners and two pacers, which include the all-round options of Jason Holder and Roston Chase.

Squad:Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell, Shai Hope, Shamarh Brooks, Shimron Hetmyer, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich (wk), Jason Holder (c), Rakheem Cornwall, Kemar Roach, Jomel Warrican, Keemo Paul, Sunil Ambris, Alzarri Joseph

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Original Link: https://www.cricbuzz.com/cricket-news/111005/afghanistan-v-west-indies-in-india-2019-afganistan-face-wi-challenge-in-ekanas-maiden-test

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