12:27 Dhawan out for 96-ball 107, India lose 1st wicket:
Rashid Khan kicks off proceedings after the lunch break. Dhawan and Vijay pick four singles from the first four balls before the latter clips the last ball through midwicket for a four as India start in the right ernest after the break.
Pacer Ahmadzai strikes in the second over of the post-lunch session. Dhawan looks to drive a wide delivery through the covers but gets an edge as the fielder and is caught by first slip on the rebound.
Dhawan walks back to a standing ovation after a cracking innings of 107 from 96 balls, having hit 19 fours and three sixes.
He laid the foundation putting on 168 runs for the opening wicket with Vijay (48 from 77 balls) from just 172 balls.
A big moment for fast bowler Ahmadzai as he claims Afghanistan’s first wicket in Test cricket. He must consider himself lucky to have got it in the end as the fielder at second slip is unable to take it cleanly but the rebound goes towards Nabi at first slip, who is alert to take the catch.
KL Rahul walks in at No. 3 and he gets off the mark with a single on the leg side and Vijay picks one off the last ball.
12:13 Dhawan’s quickfire century powers India to 158-0 at lunch:
Shikhar Dhawan became the first Indian batsman to hit a century before lunch on the opening day to power the hosts to 158 for no loss at lunch on Day 1 of the one-off Test against Afghanistan, in Bengaluru, on Thursday.
Dhawan smashed his way to a 87-ball century as India made most of batting first against debutants Afghanistan.
He was unbeaten on 104 from 91 balls, having hit 91 fours and three sixes, as he dominated right from the start and was particularly severe on Afghanistan’s spin twins — Rashid Khan and Mujeeb ur Rahman, who conceded a total of 83 runs in 11 overs combined.
At the other end, Murali Vijay was content to play second fiddle, scoring 42 from 71 runs, inclusive of six fours and a six.
Earlier, India captain Ajinkya Rahane won the toss and elected to bat against Afghanistan who made their Test debut in the one-off match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Led by Asghar Stanikzai, Afghanistan become the 12th Test playing nation in less than two decades after being recognised by International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2001.
“It’s a very proud moment,” Stanikzai said at the toss. “All the guys have some first-class experience, but our first test, obviously.
“Maybe the first one hour it will be a good wicket for bowling.”
The visitors are playing two quicks in Wafadar and Yamin Ahmadzai, who will look to make full use of a grass-covered track in the opening session.
Rahane is leading the Indian side in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli, who is recovering from a neck injury.
11:31 Dhawan smashes 87-ball century; India 158-0 at lunch:
Vijay finally breaks his sequence of cautious batting as he joins the party by slog sweeping Mujeeb for a six over midwicket.
A single before Dhawan gives Mujeeb the charge and lofts him straight down the ground for the second six of the over.
The two spinners — Mujeeb and Rashid — bowling in tandem trying to build some pressure as just five runs come the next three overs.
But Afghanistan can’t sustain the pressure for too long. A wide half-volley is driven through the covers for a four by Vijay before Dhawan cuts a short ball through point for the same result.
Dhawan chips down the track and despite not getting to the track he is able to blast it over the bowler’s head for a four.
An under pressure Mujeeb drops short as Dhawan slashes it behind point for the fourth four of the over, to race to 96 from 85 balls.
Mujeeb goes for 17 runs in his fourth over, having given away 32 runs in his four overs so far.
Rashid also continues to go for runs. He bowls one wide down the leg side as Vijay flicks it past short fine leg for a four before he takes one.
Dhawan plays a cracking drive through the covers for a four to race to his century from just 87 balls, completing the landmark in the morning session itself.
The left-hander dominated from the word go, hitting 18 fours and three sixes so far.
Dhawan doesn’t let the landmark affect his flow as he sweeps the last ball past short fine leg for another four as Rashid goes for 13 in the over, with 30 runs coming from the last two overs.
He is the first Indian batsman to hit a century before lunch on the opening day.
11:09 Dhawan blasts half-century, India off to a quick start:
A short break for Wafadar as he comes back into the attack, from the other end. Vijay plays another loose drive outside the off-stump but is beaten before he punches the last ball through point for a four.
After an expensive first over, Rashid makes a good comeback with a tight second over.
Dhawan defends the first four balls before he takes one. Vijay is beaten off the last ball as he misses the flick but the huge appeal for LBW is turned down.
In the next over, Dhawan drives Wafadar on the up through the covers for another boundary as the run continues to flow at a good pace.
Dhawan not letting Rashid settle down as he sweeps the leg-spinner past short fine leg for his 12th boundary to take his score into the 60s.
Mystery spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman comes into the attack. Vijay happy to keep taking the singles as he picks one on the off-side to take his score to 20.
Dhawan sweeps a full toss but is unable to beat the fielder at short fine leg before he defends the last ball as just a single comes off the over.
Dhawan continues his assault on Rashid as he hammers a short ball through the covers for a four. He then lofts the leggie over the long-off boundary for a six before he steers a short wide ball through the vacant thirdman region for another four to take his score to 75.
The leg-spinner produces a beauty to beat Dhawan all ends up as the wicketkeeper takes a good catch but the confident appeal is turned down.
Afghanistan waste no time in taking the DRS. There is no bat involved as Dhawan comes forward to defend and the extra bounce also saves him from the LBW appeal.
India are looking on course for a huge score as they race to 109 for no loss in 20 overs, with Dhawan racing to 75 from 71 balls and Vijay playing the second fiddle on 21 from 50 balls.
10:41 Dhawan blasts 47-ball fifty, India off to a good start:
The Snickometre shows some spike as the ball passes the edge of Dhawan’s bat in the previous over. Afghanistan’s dressing room are left shocked and are wondering as to why the captain didn’t go for the review.
Meanwhile, Dhawan continues to prosper as he comes down the track to Nabi and lofts him straight down the ground for a six.
A single to Dhawan before Vijay plays the sweep shot for a four to take India past the 50-run mark, in the 11th over.
A long first spell for Wafadar, who looks to bowl it tight as he sends down his second maiden over, he has conceded just 14 runs from his six overs.
Dhawan continues to maintain the tempo. In the next over, he sweeps Nabi powerfully for a four before chipping down and crashing the next delivery through the covers for the same result.
At the first drinks break, India have cruised to 62 for no loss in 13 overs, with Dhawan racing to 39 from 43 balls and Vijay on 13 from 35 balls.
Afghanistan’s spin sensation Rashid Khan comes into the attack, to bowl the 14th over.
Vijay takes a single from the first ball before Dhawan punches a full toss through the leg side for a four.
Two balls later, he pulls a short ball through midwicket for another four before he despatches another full toss for the third four of the over to race to his fifty, from 47 balls.
10:21 Openers Dhawan, Vijay give India a good start:
Wafadar drifts down the leg side as Vijay misses the flick but again manages to pick up four leg byes.
Dhawan continues to grow in confidence. A full delivery on the leg stump from Ahmadzai is clipped over square leg for a four by the left-hander before he crashes a half-volley through the covers for the same result.
Dhawan then glances the fifth delivery fine on the leg side for the third four of the over, which goes for 13 runs.
In the next over, Vijay plays another loose shot, chasing a wide one as he gets a thick outside edge which flies past the second slip fielder for a four.
Spin introduced as off-spinner Mohammed Nabi comes into the attack. He makes a tidy start, giving away just a single in his first over.
Wafadar switches to around the wicket. He is bowling it a bit too wide as Dhawan is happy to watch them go through.
He then gets one to come in sharply as Dhawan is hit on the pads trying to play the flick and is beaten but the leg before appeal is turned down.
The next ball holds it’s line with some extra bounce as Dhawan is beaten all ends up as Afghanistan wicketkeeper goes up in appeal but the umpire is not interested.
Captain Stanikzai discusses with the bowler Wafadar and wicketkeeper Afsar Zazai before deciding not to take the review.
A good start for India after winning the toss as they reach 42 for no loss in 10 overs, with Dhawan on 24 and Vijay on eight.
09:57 India off to a steady start vs Afghanistan:
While Dhawan has got off the blocks quickly, Vijay is still looking for his first runs. Ahmadzai bowls one way down the leg side as Vijay is unable to get some bat on it and misses out on some easy runs.
After five straight dot balls, Vijay chases a wide one without any footwork and gets a thick inside edge which narrowly misses the stumps and goes for a boundary behind the stumps to get the Indian opener off the mark.
Wafadar gets one to bounce sharply as Dhawan somehow manages to avoid it. The fast bowler keeps moving the ball away from the left-hander who is happy to play out a maiden over.
Ahmadzai misses his radar as he bowls it down the leg side and Vijay misses the flick but still picks up four leg byes.
Vijay is happy to leave as much as possible outside the off-stump as he tries to see out the new ball.
India off to a steady start as they reach 18 for no loss in five overs with Dhawan on nine and Vijay on 14.
09:45 India elect to bat vs Afghanistan; Pandya included:
Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay open the batting for India as KL Rahul is pushed down the order.
Fast bowler Yamin Ahmadzai will bowl the first ever over for Afghanistan in Test cricket. A nervous Ahmadzai pulls out at the last minute as he misses the run up.
The next ball is a bit short and comes in as Vijay gets a thick inside edge on the leg side for one but that is ruled a leg bye.
The second ball again moves sharply as Dhawan clips it on the leg side for a single to get off the mark.
Vijay then watchfully plays out the rest of the over as Ahmadzai makes a tidy start.
Fast bowler Wafadar to bowl the second over. The first ball moves away as Dhawan lets it go through and the second ball moves away with extra bounce.
Wafadar seems to have got carried away as he drops short again and this time Dhawan rocks back and slashes it over point for the first boundary of the match.
Three balls later, Dhawan punches another short delivery through the same region for the second four of the over.
09:17 Updates: India win toss, elect to bat vs Afghanistan:
India captain Ajinkya Rahane has won the toss and elected to bat against debutants Afghanistan on a greenish wicket in Bengaluru.
India have left out Kuldeep Yadav, Karun Nair, Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini, says captain Rahane at the toss.
India’s playing eleven will include three openers in KL Rahul, Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan and it remains to be seen who will open the innings.
The middle order is quite solid with the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik.
India have fielded just two spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, while Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav are the two frontline pacers with all-rounder Hardik Pandya for support.
Asghar Stanikzai (captain), Mohammad Shahzad, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Afsar Zazai (w/k), Mohammad Nabi, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Yamin Ahmadzai, Wafadar
08:54 A green wicket on offer at the M Chinnaswamy stadium as Sunil Gavaskar says ‘there will be a lot of lateral movement’ and believes that the captain winning the toss will elect to bowl first, also considering the overcast conditions above.
Afghanistan become the 12th Test nation as they make their debut against World No. 1 India.
Mystery spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman, who impressed in IPL-11 with Kings XI Punjab, will make his first class debut if he is included in the playing eleven.
08:32 Rahane-led India expected to overpower Afghanistan:
Welcome to the coverage of the historic one-off Test match between India and Afghanistan at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday.
Ajinkya Rahane-led India will not spare an inch as they are expected to put up a ruthless show. India, sans their regular skipper Virat Kohli along with two frontline bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, will look to record a comprehensive win before embarking on their long and grueling tour of England, starting next month.
For Afghanistan, it will be a battle of attrition that they have never ever faced before. Test cricket is a different beast and Rashid’s real battle starts now.
That he is a brilliant four-over bowler, is a known and acknowledged fact.
However, the Indians having watched and played against Rashid will be wary of what he can do.
That’s the reason the Indian team management might just prefer a hard bouncy track knowing full well that a rank turner could boomerang on them.
The problem with Afghanistan will not be their spinners but their batsmen.
How well Shahzad, Mohammed Nabi negotiate Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will have a direct impact on the kind of fight Afghanistan will be able to put on.
And even before that they will have to counter the disconcerting bounce generated by Ishant Sharma and the pace worked up by Umesh Yadav.
The Indian batsmen in their own backyard are not known to pull back punches and the likes of Rahane, Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay will be looking to continue their domination at home with some huge scores.