‘Bat on’ - Simmons urges batsmen to go big at Old Trafford
Head coach Phil Simmons said yesterday he wanted to see more hundreds from West Indies batsmen as the Caribbean side looks to further improve on their performance in the all-important second Test starting here tomorrow.
Pointing to several starts in the opening Test in Southampton, Simmons contended that if one player had carried on to triple figures, it would have allowed West Indies to take an earlier stranglehold on the contest.
Opener Kraigg Brathwaite (65) and wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich (61) gathered half-centuries in the West Indies first innings of 318, while Roston Chase (47) and Shamarh Brooks (39) chipped in but none could convert their knocks into centuries.
“I think definitely the fact that we had two guys getting 60s and a couple other guys getting 40s and not going on to score hundreds [is an area that can be improved],” Simmons told reporters.
“I like to see hundreds on my scorecard at the end of an inning and that is something we have to improve on because if one of the guys who scored 60 had gone on to score a hundred, the game could’ve been easier at the end for us.
“We’ve got to make sure that batsmen score big hundreds and take games away from the opposition.”
West Indies will be aiming for their first series win in England in 32 years when they clash with the hosts in the second Test of the “biosecure” series at Old Trafford.
They played superbly to pull off a four-wicket victory in the opening Test after chasing down a tricky 200 on Sunday’s final day, and now stand on the brink of a series success for the first time since Vivian Richards’ star-studded side swept England 4-0 in 1988.
Despite the win in Southampton, Simmons said his side was remaining grounded, and would not slacken off the intensity in their preparation and focus.
“We will guard against complacency by just trying to do the things we did before the first Test, trying to put all the measures into place,” Simmons said.
“It’s one Test match. We’ve won a Test match. Right now that Test match is history. We’ve got to be thinking about Thursday and what we do from Thursday to Sunday.”
West Indies currently hold the Wisden Trophy following their 2-1 series win in the Caribbean last year but were tagged as underdogs for the ongoing series, due to their recent lack of success here and England’s record in home conditions.
But Simmons said the fact the Caribbean side arrived early for the series, spent a month in preparation and travelled with an expanded 25-man contingent owing to the COVID-19 regulations, had been a major factor behind the performance in the opening Test.