'Naive' Afghans' cricket mountain to climb

Afghanistan have a long way to go before they can challenge the leading Test nations, according to coach Phil Simmons after the team's deflating long-form debut against India.

The war-ravaged country became the 12th Test playing nation this week when they took on top-ranked India in a one-off match in Bengaluru amid much fanfare.

However, it proved a sobering experience. India, missing key players and skipper Virat Kohli, first forced Afghanistan to follow-on before dismissing them twice in as many sessions for their biggest Test victory inside two days.

"The learning curve is huge," former West Indies player Simmons said after his team were thrashed by an innings and 262 runs.

"It's a mountain to climb. But I do believe they want to succeed, they want to be good at it and they work very hard.

"We now know that we have to work five times as hard as we worked in the last four weeks. I believe that they will get there."

Afghanistan can contend well in limited-overs cricket, having beaten Bangladesh 3-0 in a Twenty20 series preceding the Bengaluru match, but were unable to cope with the demands of their maiden Test match.

"I will blame about 30 per cent on the occasion and I'll blame a lot more on the naivety of what Test cricket is about," Simmons explained.

"You can play as much Intercontinental Cup and four-day cricket as you want but, when you get upstairs to the big league, especially against the No.1 team in the world, it shows. And ... it showed in a big way."

The Indian cricket board (BCCI) has provided Afghanistan with two venues - in Greater Noida and Dehradun - to stage their 'home' matches.

To help them get more exposure, the BCCI has also decided Afghanistan will get to play a practice match against teams visiting India.

"There has to be a lot more 'A' team cricket played against big countries' 'A' teams ... like England, India, Bangladesh, Australia like that," Simmons said.

"That's the best way for us to close this gap on a quicker term."