Former India skipper, Kapil Dev believes allowing Afghanistan players to play in the Duleep Trophy will help them gain valuable experience for Test cricket.
The World Cup-winning skipper made the comments a day after India thrashed Afghanistan in their first-ever Test in Bengaluru by an innings and 262 runs.
While Afghanistan were not expected to give India a tough fight, many expected them to come up with a promising performance. They are one of the most exciting teams in the world at the moment. Just a decade ago, Afghanistan had made it to division five of the World Cricket League which was five stages below World Cup qualification. Four years after gaining the ODI status in 2011, they made it to their maiden 50-over World Cup in 2015.
The fairy-tale just kept on getting better, and in 2017 they earned their Test status. Early this year, they defeated two-time world champions Windies in the final of the World Cup Qualifiers to made it to the main event. Recently, they whitewashed Bangladesh 3-0 in a T20I series.
However, they failed to replicate those performances in Test cricket. India proved just too good for Afghanistan. The hosts thrashed the visitors by an innings and 262 runs inside two days to give them a harsh reality check.
Afghanistan scored just 212 (109 & 103) runs in two innings which is the fewest a team has managed against India. It took India 399 balls to bowl out Afghanistan twice inside a day. Afghanistan played just 27.5 overs in the first innings 38.4 in the second.
Furthermore, the inexperience of Test cricket was visible. As a result, the bowlers failed to bowl according to the field while the batsmen failed to apply themselves. Also the players did not show the right patience required in the longest format of the game.
And Kapil Dev believes playing Duleep Trophy could help Afghanistan’s cause
“Let them participate in the Duleep Trophy as it will prepare them for Test cricket. Playing against quality domestic teams will help them develop confidence. The BCCI has been very encouraging towards Afghanistan by letting them use our facilities and grounds. I feel this will be an important step towards developing their confidence for the longer format,” he told mid-day.
The legendary skipper further advised Afghanistan players not to get demoralised after the crushing loss.
“Afghanistan have played exceptionally well in limited overs cricket. This was a new experience, and they shouldn’t get demoralised with the result. They are quick learners, and I am sure with a little support and encouragement, they will live up to Test standards,” he said.