Simmons wants better pitches after Test series stalemate
NORTH SOUND, Antigua (CMC):
West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has urged authorities in the Caribbean to prepare more results oriented pitches, after a nil-all draw in the recent two-Test series against Sri Lanka.
Both matches finished in tame stalemates on flat wickets at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium and Simmons said it was important to provide more competitive pitches in the region to lift the profile of Test cricket.
“I think we, from a country standpoint, need to get better wickets where we can have Test matches that will create a result,” he said
“Even if we lost a Test match after it’s gone to the fifth day, you will still think that we’ve done well to get to the fifth day and were in with a chance of winning the Test match, so I think that’s an important part of it.”
The home side found themselves frustrated on Friday when Sri Lanka comfortably batted out the final day of the second Test to earn a draw.
Set an improbable target of 377 runs, Sri Lanka resumed the final day on 29 without loss and lost only two wickets, en route to reaching 193 before the game was called off.
The first Test had taken a similar direction with West Indies easily batting out the final day after being asked to get 375 for victory.
West Indies employed a five-pronged attack for the series with four seamers and off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall being utilised, and Simmons said it was more the tranquillity of the pitch and not the effectiveness of the bowling group, that led to the drawn matches.
“I don’t think you can reinforce [the attack]," Simmons said. "The only thing you can do sometimes is adjust the make-up of the five bowlers.
“In this case, the pitch looked like it would deteriorate a little bit more and Rahkeem would have come into it but the pitch just got better and better, and that’s not in our hands.
“So next time we look at it, we might play two spinners or we might play five fast bowlers but it just depends on how we read the pitch.”
Uncapped teenage Trinidadian seamer Jayden Seales was allowed to train with the Test squad as a developmental move, while experienced off-spinning all-rounder Roston Chase was named as a reserve but was not required.
Simmons said he was comfortable with the composition of the attack, however.
“We had the bowlers there who we wanted to be in the Test team," he said. "Everybody else is still work in progress and still looking to put themselves in contention so right now these five bowlers are our main bowlers.”
Veteran seamer Kemar Roach was the leading bowler with nine wickets at 23 runs apiece.