West Indies not daunted by Afghans ahead of one-off Test

West Indies not daunted by Afghans ahead of one-off Test

LUCKNOW: Afghanistan will be a tough opponent but the West Indies hope to capitalise on their lack of experience at the Test match level, coach Phil Simmons said Tuesday as they prepared to meet for a one-off Test match.

Afghanistan — which obtained Test status in 2017 — lost their first match against India but claimed their maiden victory in March when they beat fellow newcomer Ireland before defeating Bangladesh at home in September.

Most recently, they clinched a 2-1 T20 series win over the West Indies after being swept in the preceding ODIs 3-0. “They are going to be very difficult because they are in their home ground. The wicket’s going to turn,” Simmons told reporters ahead of Wednesday’s Test match in the northern Indian city of Lucknow, where Afghanistan are playing home matches. When asked about theteam’s mood after the T20 defeat, Simmons said he expected the situation to be different in the longer Test format.

“I think there’s a lot of changes in this team compared to the white-ball team,” he said.“And I think that’s their format — their format is T20 and they’ve done well over the last two, three years in T20 cricket so they were always going to fight back in that one.

“I think this one – they’ve had three Test matches. They’ve done well… but it’s still a learning stage for them and hopefully we can capitalise on that.”Simmons would not be drawn on whether he would opt for a more spin-heavy attack to take advantage of the conditions in Lucknow, saying he was still monitoring the wicket.

“I’ve got to have a look at the wicket again today and maybe tomorrow morning and see what it looks like before we decide what the final bowling attack would be like,” Simmons added.Afghanistan, who cannot play in their home country because of security issues, played their first international game in Lucknow against the West Indies in early November after moving away from Dehradun due to the lack of good hotels.

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