India recorded its biggest win in Test cricket

Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) chief executive Shafiqullah Stanikzai told AFP the team would use the defeat as a sign of the work they still have to do. Barring Ireland last month, all other sides lost by an innings.

Ajinkya Rahane collected the Winner's trophy, on team India's behalf, and what happened next could well be written in cricket's history books. There is no comparison.

Making a comeback into the Test team after a gap of more than 8 years, it was the flawless opportunity for the wicket-keeper to make the selectors sweat when they sit down to pick the team for the England Test matches.

Not long ago, Afghanistan were playing against countries where cricket was a recreational, part-time sport.

Despite the result, the match is a big step forward for Afghanistan.

Afghanistan were all out for 109 in their first innings before struggling to 103 in second after India had scored 474 in their first essay. He said this Test gave his bowlers the conditions they would encounter in England.

For Rahane, who was captaining the side in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli, winning and losing is not everything.

Bengaluru is one of India's favourite venue. But they made their (losing) test debuts at home, and didn't face world No 1 India, which has lost only one test at home in almost six years. In a rare gesture, Rahane later called up the entire Afghan team for the victory photo opportunity and also handed over the trophy to the debutants in a bid to boost their morale. "It was important for all of us to stick to our basics, create some good habits, but credit to Afghanistan, they were fantastic", Rahanne said at the post match presentation. He was ably supported by Ishant Sharma and Ravi Jadeja who picked up two wickets each. Said he was happy this debut was against the best side in the world. He is now the world's top-ranked Twenty20 bowler. It was India's game to take whenever they wanted it. On a turning wicket, Rashid could be more risky than any other spinner. "They require gaining more experience", the former Indian captain said.

But India's bowling was tough to contend with. Dawlat Zadran is injured and Shapoor Zadran is not in the squad.

It was a dream 17 years in the making, after Afghanistan's initiation as an International Cricket Council affiliate member back in. And it became clear when Afghanistan came out to bat. They stuttered on several occasions but they won all but one game to claim the title and make it to Division Four. It is just the first game and they have a long way to travel.

So why were Ireland competitive against Pakistan while Afghanistan's failed to reach the half-way point?

The previous lowest was 112 by Australia in their fourth innings against India past year.

Afghanistan were bowled out in the second session.

On November 24, 2013, Afghanistan beat Kenya to qualify for the 2014 Twenty20 World Cup. "As a Test bowling unit, you take a back seat and be defensive for some period of time and if you get one or two wickets, then you can again attack", Rahane said.

Having said that, Afghanistan would learn a lot from their mistakes and the competitiveness of the worldwide level.

  • Julie Sanders