‘Naive’ Afghanistan Have a Mountain to Climb, Says Coach  

The BCCI has provided Afghanistan with two venues – in Greater Noida and Dehradun – to stage their ‘home’ matches.

Published16 Jun 2018, 10:04 AM IST
Cricket
2 min read

Afghanistan have a long way to go before they can challenge the leading Test nations and the best way to bridge the gap is to play regularly against their ‘A’ teams, coach Phil Simmons said after the team’s deflating long-form debut against India.

The war-ravaged country became the 12th Test playing nation when they took on top-ranked India in the one-off match at Bengaluru’s M Chinnaswamy Stadium amid much fanfare this week.

However, it proved a sobering experience as India, shorn of key players and regular skipper Virat Kohli, first forced Afghanistan to follow-on before dismissing them twice in as many sessions for their biggest Test victory inside two days.

“The learning curve is huge,” former West Indies player Simmons said after his team were thrashed by an innings and 262 runs in a total mismatch.

“It’s a mountain to climb. But I do believe they want to succeed, they want to be good at it and they work very hard.”

“We now know that we have to work five times as hard as we worked in the last four weeks. I believe that they will get there.”

Afghanistan can contend well in limited-overs cricket, something they proved with a 3-0 blanking of Bangladesh in a Twenty20 series preceding the Bengaluru match, but were unable to cope with the demands of test cricket on their debut.

Afghanistan bowler Rashid Khan who got man of the series waving to his fans after winning T20 cricket match series between Bangladesh and Afghanistan in Dehradun on 7 June.
Afghanistan bowler Rashid Khan who got man of the series waving to his fans after winning T20 cricket match series between Bangladesh and Afghanistan in Dehradun on 7 June.
(Photo: IANS)

“I will blame about 30 percent on the occasion and I’ll blame a lot more on the naivety of what Test cricket is about,” Simmons explained.

You can play as much Intercontinental Cup and four-day cricket as you want but when you get upstairs to the big league, especially against the number one team in the world, it shows. And... it showed in a big way.
Phil Simmons, Coach, Afghanistan

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has provided Afghanistan with two venues – in Greater Noida and Dehradun – to stage their ‘home’ matches.

To help them get more exposure, the BCCI has decided that Afghanistan will also get to play a practice match against teams visiting India.

“There has to be a lot more ‘A’ team cricket played against big countries’ ‘A’ teams... like England, India, Bangladesh, Australia like that,” Simmons said.

“That’s the best way for us to close this gap on a quicker term.”

Liked this story? We'll send you more. Subscribe to The Quint's newsletter and get selected stories delivered to your inbox every day. Click to get started.

The Quint is available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, click to join.

Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!