Rahane lauds batsmen after win over Afghanistan

India's stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane praised his batsmen after India crushed Afghanistan by an innings and 262 runs on the second day of the one-off Test at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday.

Afghanistan, playing the first-ever Test, were skittled out for 109 and 103 inside two sessions on day 2. India took 40 wickets on Friday after posting 474 in the first innings.

Rahane, who captained India in regular skipper Virat Kohli's absence, heaped praises on his batting unit, especially openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay, who scored centuries in India's total.

"The way we played, especially batting, Shikhar (Dhawan), (Murali) Vijay, (Lokesh) Rahul and Hardik (Pandya). We did not take Afghanistan lightly. It was important for us to keep the basics and good habits," Rahane said at the post-match presser.

"Guys like Shikhar (Dhawan) and (Murali Vijay) got those hundreds, (KL) Rahul chipped in and (Hardik) Pandya was magnificent at the end. It was important for all of us to stick to our basics, create some good habits," he added.

The high hopes of the Afghans were dashed as they were bowled out for 109 and 103 in pursuit of India's first innings total of 474 all out today.

"This feels really special. It is always an honour to lead your country and we wanted to be ruthless," Rahane continued.

Rahane also appreciated Afghanistan, saying, "But credit to Afghanistan, they were fantastic. From here on it is only upwards and onwards for them. Their seamers bowled really well, especially in the third session yesterday and I am sure they will go a long way against all opponents."

In a rare and heart-touching gesture, Rahane later called the Afghan team for the victory photo opportunity and also handed over the trophy to the debutants to boost their morale.

Dhawan won the man-of-the-match award as he smashed 107 off 96 balls.

"I am really happy with the way I have been batting. It is good that we've finished the match early and will have a few days off to get fresh before we go to Ireland." He said.

"It was a damp pitch, the ball, of course, was swinging and seaming a bit but I was clear in my mind that I wanted to play positive cricket. Things went my way and I was enjoying it as by the grace of God I became the first Indian to get a century inside a session," he added.

Dhawan also congratulated Afghanistan for its Test debut.

"First of all, I would like to congratulate Afghanistan for reaching this level. It's only their first Test and they'll keep getting better as they play more. I would also like to wish them Eid Mubarak; it is a big day for them," he said.

"It is always a learning process and once they start winning they'll do really well. Big names are already coming out of their country already and doing really well in world cricket," he added.

Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai also reiterated that the Test match was a huge learning experience for his side.

"First thanks to BCCI and the Afghan Cricket Board to give us this opportunity. We hadn't played a Test match before this and we've learned a lot," he said.

"In future when we play a match, we know now how to play against a full member nation like India. Yes, we were surprised by how quickly things ended because we were a good team. But Test cricket is a completely different ball game, we have a lot of time and we'll work on our weaknesses.

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