Afghans have five spinners in their squad in Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Zahir Khan and left-arm spinner Hamza Kotak with the captain Asghar Stanikzai confident about that they can cause trouble against the formidable Indians.
India have been Afghanistan's close allies and the BCCI has shown magnanimity in opening their stadiums so that the national team can practice.
Where will the India vs Afghanistan one-off Test match be played?
Rahane, filling in for Virat Kohli, said while it's an honour to be part of the historic Test, his side will focus on their strengths. We know they're a decent team, with (good) bowlers. "We still had 12-13 players training with red ball", Simmons said. I hope they get to play a lot of Test Cricket.
On the surface, it is just another Test match but it is much beyond that.
Preparation wise, Afghanistan picked two vastly different squads for the T20Is against Bangladesh and their inaugural Test.
"I think there will always be a bit of disappointment in the players not to be on the same field as Virat, but at the same time we look at it as win the Test match and beat India, we don't beat Virat", Simmons said.
India Test squad: Ajinkya Rahane (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Shardul Thakur. They are quality spinners, they back each other, they enjoy bowling with each other even in the nets and in the match.
India also have a couple of new players in their squad, which will make Rahane's task of fielding the right combination a bit hard.
"Everyone will believe that they are better than the opponent". "So we are disappointed he is not playing, but little bit happy that we are not going to bowl to him all the time".
"When I played with them (Afghanistan) in Ireland, it was a little more greener than this and it still turned", he said. "Over the last three days, the focus has been on tuning our minds, especially because we're coming in after two months of the IPL", said Rahane. We are happy to be here and playing India. "Skill-wise, it won't make a difference, but our attitude [towards training] matters, if you have to make a quick switch in terms of our mindset from T20s to Test cricket".