Star KKR batter makes Test debut before IPL 2024

Afghanistan handed out one debut while Ireland had three debutants in the Test match played at a new venue.

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Rahmanullah Gurbaz will play in IPL 2024 for Kolkata Knight Riders.

In a low-key fixture, Afghanistan is locking horns with Ireland in the one-off Test between the two nations played at Tolerance Oval, Abu Dhabi. Both teams will also play three ODIs and three T20Is after the Test match. Tolerance Oval is hosting its first Test match, making it the 122nd venue to host Test cricket.

Both Afghanistan and Ireland are fairly new to the game’s longest format as they were given Test status in 2017. Afghanistan have played eight Tests while Ireland have played seven till now. While Afghanistan have succeeded in defeating Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, and Ireland once in their short Test career, Ireland are yet to win a Test match.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz makes Test debut

Afghanistan handed out Test debut to Rahmanullah Gurbaz in the match. Gurbaz is Afghanistan’s designated wicketkeeper for the game and batted in the middle order. Batting at No. 5, he got out cheaply in his first Test innings for 5 runs.

Gurbaz is a naturally aggressive batter who likes to take on the bowlers. He has a decent record in ODIs and T20Is and is Afghanistan’s mainstay at the top order in the white-ball formats. The 22-year-old batter averages 35 and strikes at 87 in ODIs. It will be interesting to see how he approaches a Test match.

Gurbaz has played franchise cricket across the globe. He joined Kolkata Knight Riders in 2023 season of IPL and has established himself as a key player for the franchise. Despite not being consistent, Gurbaz is known for his impactful innings. The young wicketkeeper-batter has scored 227 runs in 11 matches in IPL 2023 at a strike rate of 133.53.

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Gurbaz will travel to India after the completion of Afghanistan’s tour of UAE to join Kolkata Knight Riders for IPL 2024. KKR will start their IPL 2024 campaign against Sunrisers Hyderabad on March 23 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.