Phil Simmons: ‘It’s a mountain to climb’

The disappointment was showing on its chief coach, Phil Simmons’ face as he walked into the post-match media conference.

Phil Simmons admitted that his team got carried away by the occasion.   -  K. MURALI KUMAR

Like most of the cricket fans, even Afghanistan team did not imagine that it would lose a Test match in just two days. The disappointment was showing on its chief coach, Phil Simmons’ face as he walked into the post-match media conference. The coach admitted that his team got carried away by the occasion.

“30 per cent of the blame for this defeat falls on letting the occasion get to them and the rest is down to naivety on what Test cricket is all about. You can play as much four-day First-Class cricket as you want, but when you play a Test, the difference shows in a big way,” Simmons said.

The seasoned coach believed that a few exposure matches—against A sides of the top-ranked teams—will help them improve. “There have 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,” he said.

READ: Indian bowlers consign Afghanistan to innings defeat in debut Test

The former West Indies all-rounder also admitted that it will help if an Afghanistan side competes in Indian domestic competitions. “The two boards have spoken about it, but I don’t know how far they got with the talks. They (BCCI) will have to let us know about the details of the arrangement,” the seasoned coach said.

In the latest agreement with the Afghanistan Cricket Board, the BCCI has stated that any international teams travelling to India will have to play a match against Afghanistan. And, the way his team struggled, Simmons would hope that actually happens.