Batting needs a push in Afghanistan cricket, says coach Phil Simmons

Afghanistan made their Test debut earlier this year against India.

Phil Simmons. (Cricket Australia)

 The emergence of Afghanistan cricket has been a beautiful story. With the likes of Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mohammad Shahzad becoming the face of its cricket in recent times, coach Phil Simmons who took over from Lalchand Rajput is now aiming to produce good batsmen from the country. 

In an exclusive interaction with Cricbuzz, Simmons opens up on various facets of the country's cricket and what it needs to work on. Afghanistan getting the Test status by ICC is another stepping stone in its cricketing history and now the coach wants a batting superstar from the country to play in the cash-rich IPL. 

When asked about the challenges looking forward to the World Cup, he said " I think looking ahead to World Cup... it's one thing. We played in Ireland and we realised it's different to Asia. For us, that was the good thing about that series, that we got nine months-ten months beforehand we got an idea of what the wickets are gonna be like in the World Cup. We know now exactly what we have to go back and try to work on, so it was an opportunity for us to make sure that we understand that and know how we have to prepare."

Regarding their preparation for their first Test he said  "There's wasn't a need of that much chat after the Test match. I think the good thing is that we understood how, what maybe I've been trying to show, the approach I've been trying to show that how you have to do. We need to work hard to be able to get up to that level and there's no fear that we won't get to that level, you know. Everything takes time but the important thing is that work has to be done continually in order to improve."

One of the most important points which Simmons highlighted was the need of a batting superstar in the team. " There's wasn't a need of that much chat after the Test match. I think the good thing is that we understood how, what maybe I've been trying to show, the approach I've been trying to show that how you have to do. We need to work hard to be able to get up to that level and there's no fear that we won't get to that level, you know. Everything takes time but the important thing is that work has to be done continually in order to improve." 

He finally rounded up his interaction saying about their preparations for the Asia Cup where they have qualified not as an associate nation for the first time in the tournament history. " From my point of view, any tournament you go into, you want to try and win. What we are looking at is how we play cricket and the ability to play our at our best every time we go out there. If we can play at our best - not every player will be at his best every day, but once we can find three or four or five players each day at their best on a day, we know we can be competitive against each team and if they are not at their best, we can win the game. That's what we are looking at, to be at our best; half of the team to be at our best on the day and we'll take it from there."


By Anshuman Roy - 17 Sep, 2018

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