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Afghans can’t be taken lightly: Jinx

Mumbai: Ajinkya Rahane who will lead India in the one-off Test against Afghanistan to be held at Bengaluru next month said his prime focus was doing well against the debutants in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli.

“Qualifying for a Test is the biggest thing for Afghanistan cricket and that is good for cricket. We don’t want to take any team lightly. We just want to go out there and play with the same intensity as we do with every other team,” he said.

Afghanistan have world-class leg spinner in Rashid Khan and young Mujeeb ur Rahman. They also have Chinaman bowler Zahir Khan and left-arm orthodox Amir Hamza Hotak as the other spin options in the Ashgar Stanikzai-led squad.

“He is doing really well, specially in the shorter format T20, he did fantastic for Sunrisers, he is a quality bowler and everyone needs to accept and respect that. Afghanistan can’t be taken lightly, because in cricket and in generally in life you cannot take anything for granted,” Rahane said.

Rahane believes not being part of India’s limited-overs squad for the tour of UK will give him more time to do his homework for the five-match Test series against England, starting on August 1.

“It is important that you get time to prepare yourself, especially when you know that you are not in ODI squad. This is actually motivating me, because I am actually looking to make a comeback. I still believe that I can come back and do well in shorter formats with World Cup coming up,” Rahane added.