They realised the dream of playing at the highest level but the beginning of the journey was "little stressful" said Afghanistan fast bowler Yamin Ahmadzai as the strife-torn nation made its Test debut against India today.
The gritty Afghans got a reality check when they were hammered around the park in the first session but saved the day by claiming five Indian wickets in the last session.
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"Well, this was a dream which has come true for our nation. It was enjoyable, but a little stressful. Nevertheless, playing against India, the number one team, was a good experience. Still there are four days to go and we will try to do our best," Ahmadzai said at the press conference.
"Getting a Test cap is the most important thing in cricketers' lives. It is same for me as well. I cannot express it in words. There was excitement when we walked onto the field, but also were nervous," he said.
The pacer, who took two of the six Indian wickets, said their spinners struggled in first session since they were trying too hard.
"Our bowlers especially Rashid was trying too much in the first session, but he bowled wicket-to-wicket on a pitch which began to grip in the last session. That is the reason why we came back strongly. Our bowlers picked five wickets," he said.
In the last session, Afghanistan picked up five wickets including that of centurion Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul (54), captain Ajinkya Rahane (10), Cheteshwar Pujara (35) and Dinesh Karthik (4).
Ahmadzai was the pick of the bowler as he ended the day with decent figures of two for 32 in 13 overs with six maidens.
Dhawan, who became the first Indian to score a century before lunch, and half-centurion Lokesh Rahul were Ahmadzai's prize scalps.
Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who were labelled as better spinners than India's by captain Asghar Stankizai, picked one wicket each.
(With PTI Inputs)