A step in right direction for Afghanistan: Jonathan Trott on first-ever bilateral series against India
We want to play as many series as possible in other countries as well, says coach
Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott on Saturday, 13 January, termed the first-ever bilateral white ball series against India a "step in the right direction" and hoped his side will get more chances against other countries as well in future.
Afghanistan had played a one-off Test against India in 2018, and now Trott wanted to build on this experience.
"The bilateral series (against India) is a step in the right direction for our side. It's an indication of the progress made by the side," said Trott in his pre-match press conference ahead of the second T20I on Sunday.
"Hopefully, it can happen all over the world and not just in India. We want to play as many series as possible in other countries as well."
The Afghan players have vast experience in playing all over the world in franchise cricket, but Trott said nothing can really match the exposure of playing as a team in bilateral series.
"The more cricket we play as a team, the better it is for us. The players will get more exposure. At the moment, their exposure is limited to franchise cricket. This is the first bilateral series against India, and it's a big occasion for the side.
"Individually, the players have been around the world, but we hope to go to countries as a team," Trott said.
Those experiences, Trott said, will help the Afghan players to get familiar with world-class opponents in different conditions, the only way he felt to get better as a team.
"Every team's gonna have world-class players and we need to get accustomed to that if we want to start winning and beating sides. You're going to have to bowl against the best or face up against the best bowlers in the world.
"That's a great challenge and that's why we play this game. It's exciting for our boys. I'm really looking forward to seeing how we go up against the world-class players."
Trott used Afghanistan's good outing in the ODI World Cup as a pathway to the future.
"I think we've done well in the past in the World Cup. We had a bit of a taste of that (winning against top sides) in the 50-over World Cup where we beat some top sides. I think we can do that in this format as well," he detailed.
After the on-going series, Afghanistan will travel to Sri Lanka and Ireland to play a Test, three T20Is and as many ODIs in each of those nations.
Trott was excited at the prospect of his side playing a good amount of international cricket.
"We need to make sure we play well in this series and get ready for Sri Lanka, which is coming up in February. That will be a big series, as well as the one against Ireland, which will be the last T20I practice ahead of the World Cup.
"And you know, obviously, two Test matches as well. So, exciting times are ahead for us," said Trott.
The former England batter said his bowlers need to step up their game in the second T20I and challenge the Indian batters.
"We should make sure that we stick to our plans and tighten up in a few areas. I thought we did a decent job in the middle-overs, cutting down some runs, but we still need to tighten things up as a whole," he said.