Sat | Jan 16, 2021

Batsmen need to deliver – Simmons

Published:Wednesday | November 25, 2020 | 12:20 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons says only big performances from his batsmen will shore up a place in his team as the regional side gets ready to take on New Zealand ‘A’ in a four-day warm-up match starting today.

Simmons made it clear that all the batters in the team are under pressure to perform, more so Jamaican batsmen John Campbell and Jermaine Blackwood, who failed to make a significant contribution with the bat in the opening three-day game against New Zealand ‘A’ recently.

Campbell and Blackwood made just four and eight runs, respectively, in a formidable total of 366 scored by the West Indies, with Darren Bravo getting a fine 135 while Shamarh Brooks made 80, Kraigg Brathwaite 47, and Roston Chase 42.

Simmons says the scores from the batters were good, however, he is looking for more variety within their game as they prepare to face an efficient ‘Kiwi’ bowling attack in the two-match Test series.

“I think it’s about spending time at the crease. I am not worried about the fact that Bravo scored a hundred. I look at the time they spend at the crease and how they control their innings. That is what I am looking for from John and Blackwood in this four-day game,” said Simmons.

The coach highlighted that it wouldn’t be the last chance for Campbell or Blackwood to show their skills as he believed that the abundance of talent in the squad and the competition for places would bring out the best in them.

“I don’t know about last chance. I think it’s a case where everybody is under pressure. With Bravo and Hetmyer back in the mix, we are getting more of a group of batsmen looking for four or five places. It’s putting pressure on them to perform, and that is what we want. We need the performances, and if you perform, you are going to be there.”

The Trinidadian outlined that big partnerships and big hundreds are what he would be looking for from his batters in the warm-up game. However, another key component for him is to come away with a victory in the official first-class game.

“At the end of the four days, the best thing that can happen is to win the game so that we can go into the Test match with that kind of success and confidence behind us,” Simmons said.