For starters, both their medium-pacers had discovered a peculiar late movement with a near 50-over-old ball in damp conditions.
Come Thursday, cricketing history will be made when the Indian national side takes on Afghanistan's newly put-together team in their first Test match after the latter gained Test playing nation status previous year. "It is an honour for India to host the Afghan national team at home ground in Greater Noida and Dehradun", Modi said. Indian Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore shook hands with Afghan players before the match and read out a congratulatory statement from Modi.
It will be a historic moment for Asghar Stanikzai's team when they step out on Thursday for their maiden five-day outing against the world's number one Test side.
"We also request other test cricketing nations to arrange regular series with Afghanistan".
Afghanistan a year ago achieved full member status of the International Cricket Council, making them one of only 12th Test teams.
Talking about Rashid Khan - one man who has put Afghanistan on global cricket.
"As President of Afghanistan, I welcome their maiden Test match against India".
Afghan players got a new reminder of the horrors in their country last month when an attack on a cricket match in Khan s home city of Jalalabad killed eight people and wounded 45. Afghanistan ought to have been mere pushovers for this India juggernaut, but if rumour mills are anything to go by, the Ajinkya Rahane-led unit aren't taking their neighbours lightly. He played a few seasons in the IPL before poor performances and lack of form ensured that he was left out in the cold. "They have a decent team. bowlers (are good)", he told reporters on the eve of the one-off Test.
He hasn't played Test cricket so we need to look and see what happens.
Good form is invaluable, irrespective of the format.
It also reached the Super Ten stage in the World T20 in 20016 and beat eventual champions West Indies in a league match.
Here we take a look at the factors working in favour of Afghanistan ahead of their inaugural Test.
When Karthik played his last Test, in 2010, not many thought Afghanistan would seal a berth in Test cricket. We all know the stats but we don't want to focus on the stats. Standing in the slips, Mohammad Shahzad was the only player urging his captain to take the review, but Stanikzai, drowned out by too many opinions, didn't pay heed. Ashwin, Jadeja and Kuldeep are experienced spinners. "I am very sure that they [Afghanistan] would be better bowlers by the start of the next Test match than what they are now", Karthik had words of encouragement for the rookies.
The openers had no difficulty in negotiating the Afghan spinners as Shikhar went hammer and tongs and the bowler to suffer most was IPL hero Rashid Khan.