Fri | Sep 17, 2021

Simmons welcomes Windies selection headache

Published:Tuesday | February 16, 2021 | 12:25 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
SIMMONS
SIMMONS

The West Indies contingent, who will be returning home this week, will all have broad smiles on their faces when they touch down in their respective territories, following their Test series win away to Bangladesh.

No smile will be broader than that of head coach Phil Simmons, who watched as his young troops masterminded back-to-back Test wins to claim their first away series win since 2017.

For Simmons, winning the series under adverse circumstances is one of his top three moments as a coach, and the Trinidadian had nothing but praise for Kraigg Brathwaite and his troops, who pulled off what many felt was a near-impossible task.

“I was pleased mainly with the work ethic and the ability of the players to absorb information and put things together,” he said. “I think the guys were completely open-minded about what we needed to do, to work and be good in the series. If you are good in the series, then you have a chance of winning.”

Simmons said the performances of players such as Rahkeem Cornwall, Nkrumah Bonner, Kyle Mayers, and Joshua Da Silva have given the team the motivation to go forward and do bigger and better things in future series.

The West Indies’ next international assignment will be a home series against Sri Lanka in the coming weeks.

EXPECTED RETURN

For Simmons, the performances of some of the young players will give the coaches and selectors a welcome headache, with several senior players, such as captain Jason Holder, Shamarh Brooks, Shimron Hetmyer, Roston Chase, and Darren Bravo expected to return to the fold.

“That is what you want as coaches and selectors,” Simmons said. “You want people fighting for their positions. You want when you pick people, they know that they have to perform because people are waiting to come in if they don’t, and that’s when your cricket starts moving forward. Let’s hope this is the start of the upward movement.”

The Trinidadian, however, lamented that there was still much work to be done, as there were areas where the team needs to improve on before the next international assignment.

“I think we need to improve in all areas,” he said. “We still need to score 400 runs more consistently in our first innings, or second innings for that matter. We still need to be able to apply pressure when we are bowling, because we leaked too many boundaries in the last game. We caught 20-odd catches, but we dropped about six or seven, so little things like those we need to improve on.”

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