Afghanistan needs to play five-day cricket regularly, says Rahane

The team needs more game time with the red ball to improve, according to India's stand-in captain.

Ajinkya Rahane..."Test cricket is all about attitude and patience."

It took just two sessions for India to demolish Afghanistan in the latter’s Test debut. India’s stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane and Afghan coach Phil Simmons believe the team needs more game time with the red ball to improve.

Here’s what they said.

On how the side fared

Rahane: “As a Test team, they will improve the more they play. It was just the beginning. They tried their best. After first innings, they were trying to hang around and stick to the wicket. It is about playing five-day cricket regularly. Test cricket is all about attitude and patience. They have been playing a lot of T20 cricket. With their bowling, they can do a lot of damage. If two or three guys can bat, they will be a decent side.”

Simmons: “I will blame 30 per cent on the occasion and I blame a lot more on the naivety of what Test cricket is about. You can play as much Intercontinental Cup and four-day cricket as you want, but when you get to upstairs to the big league and play the No. 1 team, it shows. And today, it showed in a big way.”

On what went wrong

Rahane: “They have got some good bowlers and if the batsmen can play the bowlers regularly, they will learn from that. It is about creating those situations, not in the match but also during the practice. As a batsman, it is about visualising how they play each and every opponent. It’s all in the mind. Skill-wise or technically, every player is similar but one needs to get mentally tough and fine tune a bit.”

Simmons: “It may have been more competitive [had we played a lower-ranked side] but you wouldn’t have learned as much as you did from this game because when you play against the best, you will know how much you have to do to get to where they are.”

On how the team can improve

Simmons: “There has to be a lot more ‘A’ teams, against teams from England, India, Bangladesh and so on. That’s the best way to close the gap. The learning curve for us is huge. It’s a mountain to climb.”