Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons has asserted that his team is happy to play against India with or without skipper Virat Kohli, who had opted to sit out in the one-off match. He also stated that the team has prepared well to compete as they go through the transition from white ball to red ball.
The first time when Afghanistan played against India was in the 2010 World Twenty20, where India went on to an easy seven-wicket win. A newbie to international cricket then, the whole Afghanistan team was seen lining up to take pictures with the Indian players. However, just when the side thought that they were very well acquainted with India’s strength in the second time in 2012, they met a certain Virat Kohli and couldn’t contain their fandom yet again. The player was a part of numerous selfies that flooded the social media.
“Kohli is a big deal in Afghanistan. People love how he plays and generally, he has a big fan following,” Mohammad Shahzad had then said when asked about their infatuation with the future Indian skipper, as quoted by Wisden India.
Since then, India
“I think there will always be a bit of disappointment for the players not to be on the same field as Virat. But at the same time, we look at it as win the Test match and beat India, we don’t beat Virat. So we are disappointed he is not playing but a little bit happy that we are not going to bowl to him all the time. We are happy to be here and playing India, Virat is not India,” said Simmons, reported Wisden India
“Our preparation has been very good. Only four players will be making the transition from white-ball cricket to red-ball cricket in a short span. The rest have been training with the red ball. Fortunately, the three fast bowlers were not in the T20 squad so they were concentrating on Test cricket.
“The mental part comes from the way to train. How long you bat, how long you bowl in nets. How hard you train in the nets. That’s the only way you prepare mentally because when you get out there then you understand what it takes. As the captain said that they have played four-day cricket so they have a fair idea… the good thing about it is that they learn quickly,”Simmons explained.