Simmons gutted after big defeat

Simmons gutted after big defeat

To know how crushing Afghanistan’s defeat was, you just have to look at the number of times that teams have been bowled out twice in a day. Only on three occasions previously -- once India and twice Zimbabwe -- have endured such disaster. And it was that display, more than the defeat itself, that was hurting Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons.

“There’s nothing been said yet, we will have our meeting in a little while,” said Simmons when asked about the mood in the team. “… But I think there is an air of disappointment, not just disappointment of losing but disappointment at the way we played today. I think we can put the yesterday’s first two hours in the dump and we showed what we are capable of on the field, but today I don’t know what my answer is to our performance,” he rued.

While the magnitude of the occasion, Simmons felt, did affect the performance to an extent, lack of Test experience was more to be blamed.

“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 Inter-continental Cup and four-day cricket as you want but when you get upstairs to the big league and play the No 1 team, it shows. And today it showed in a big way,” he remarked.

Simmons was of the view that playing ‘A’ team cricket was one of the ways to bridge the gap in quality with top teams.

“I think with us there has to be a lot more ‘A’ team cricket played against big countries by some players – players just below 18 – in England, India, Bangladesh, Australia… So, I think that’s the best way for us to close this gap.”

The former West Indian bowler was happy to have experience of playing the No 1 team first team than some lower-ranked team just for the sake of being more competitive.

“It may have been more competitive, but you wouldn’t have learned as much as you did from this game,” he stressed. “When you play against the best you will know how much you have to do to get where they are. That’s what I will take away from this game, players see that now and it’s not just telling them that how tough Test cricket is. I agree that it would have been more competitive against a No 8 or a No 9 team, but I will take what we got from this game,” he reasoned.