Former Afghanistan coach Lalchand Rajput has warned India against preparing a turning track for the upcoming one-off Test (starting June 14) against the Asian minnows at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Rajput, the former India opener and the current interim head coach of Zimbabwe, said Afghanistan have at least three good spinners to trouble the Indian batting unit on spinner-friendly conditions.
There is considerable hype around the one-off tie as Afghanistan, who have shown a lot of promise in limited-overs cricket over the last few years, will be making their Test debut in Bengaluru.
With world number one T20 bowler, Rashid Khan, leading the bowling attack, the visitors have named a spin-heavy squad for the historic Test.
Apart from the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) leg-spinner, Kings XI Punjab teenager Mujeeb Ur Rahman, chinaman bowler Zahir Khan left-arm spinner Amir Hamza and veteran off-spinner Mohammad Nabi will be traveling to Bengaluru.
India will also be without their best batsman, Virat Kohli as the skipper has been ruled out of the Test with a shoulder injury he had picked up during the recently-concluded 11th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL).
Prepare a green top: Rajput
On the other hand, India can fend off the spin threat and even finish the match inside three days if they prepare a grass-rich wicket for the Test, according to Rajput.
The 56-year-old believes Indian pace bowling unit, consisting the likes of Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, and Shardul Thakur, are better equipped to make use of seamer-friendly conditions than their Afghanistan counterparts.
"On a turning wicket, Rashid will be dangerous. If we give Afghanistan a turning wicket, we will perish, because they have at least three good spinners," Rajput told The Times of India.
"Their fast bowling attack is comparatively much weaker. The best option for India is to go for a 'green top' and unleash their pacers, who can then even finish off the match inside three days."
Milk Rashid Khan for singles: Rajput to Indian batsmen
Rajput also had a word of advice for Indian batsmen, who are expected to face a stern test against Khan.
The Sunrisers leg-spinner has been on top of his game in the limited-over format. After picking up 21 wickets in 17 matches in IPL 2018, the 19-year-old has gone on to demolish Bangladesh in the ongoing three-match T20I series in Dehradun, Uttar Pradesh.
Bangladesh batsmen have found Khan unplayable as the young spinner picked up seven wickets, including a four-for, to help Afghanistan take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
It will not be easy for Khan to straightway make an impact in the longer-format of the game but the leggie will head into the Test with a lot of confidence.
"It's very simple. If you try to hit him [Khan], you'll end up giving away your wicket," Rajput said.
He added: "To negotiate him, you've to play on the front foot, and not go on the back foot at all. You've to try and not overpower him, but milk him for singles."
India vs Afghanistan one-off Test: Squads
India: Ajinkya Rahane (c), Cheteshwar Pujara, Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Shardul Thakur.
Afghanistan: Asghar Stanikzai (c), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Javed Ahmadi, Ihsanullah Janat, Rahmat Shah, Nasir Jamal, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afsar Zazai, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Zahir Khan, Amir Hamza, Sayed Shirzad, Yamin Ahmadzai, Wafadar, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.