Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons wants one of their batsmen grab an IPL deal

Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons wants one of their batsmen grab an IPL deal

“We want to have a batsman in the IPL for instance rather than three or two bowlers and an all-rounder," the Afghanistan head coach said.

Phil Simmon
Phil Simmons. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Afghanistan have seen a meteoric rise in world cricket over the past few years, so much so that one of their star bowler’s performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL) even left the president of the nation impressed and proud. However, the team’s head coach Phil Simmons wants to see a batsman from the country to make an impact in the IPL more than a bowler or all-rounder.

The Afghan has one of the best win-loss ratios in ODIs with 53 wins in 101 matches. Only South Africa, Australia, Pakistan and India are the teams with a better record than the side which also made their debut in Tests against India in June. That Afghanistan need to nurture batting talents was also evident in that game which they lost by an innings because of inadequate team totals.

Simmons, a former West Indian international who took over as their head coach in January this year from Lalchand Rajput, said during a chat with Cricbuzz that the team now needs to see its batsmen to match the feats of talented bowlers like Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman. To that direction, he wants Afghan batsmen to earn an IPL deal. A lot of their players feature in the IPL now but none of them is a pure batsman – like those from other frontline countries.

Afghanistan batsmen have to come up to their bowlers’ standard

Asked whether he focused on improving Afghanistan’s batting, Simmons said: “Bowlers are our strength and now we’ve been working very hard in trying to get the batsmen to understand that they have to [rise up and] meet the bowlers, the bowlers are not going to come down. They have to meet the bowlers. Even in the Test match, that was one of the big things. The batting has to get up there to where the bowlers are.”

“We want to have a batsman in the IPL for instance rather than three or two bowlers and an all-rounder, although Rashid will tell me he’s an all-rounder. That’s the big focus now, making sure our batting tries to get up to the level of the bowlers.”

Simmons himself was a handy batting all-rounder in the ODIs with 3,675 runs and 83 wickets in 122 matches that he played between 1987 and 1999.

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