Wednesday, January 13, 2021

BAN vs WI 2021: West Indies coach Phil Simmons wants his rookies to grab spots with both hands

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West Indies Head coach Phil Simmons thinks his inexperienced team’s “enthusiasm and hunger” will overcome “clear favorites” in Bangladesh. Windies will be played from January 20 to February 11 including 3 one-day internationals (ODI’s) and 2 Tests.

West Indies will be missing some of the key players in Test skipper Jason Holder, White ball captain Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Shai Hope, and 6 others as they’ve opted out of the tour due to COVID-19 concerns.

In the absence of Jason Holder, experienced opener Kraigg Brathwaite will lead the Test side, while Jermaine Blackwood will play the vice-captain role. Jason Mohammed will lead the ODI team with Sunil Ambris will be his deputy.

Hosts clear favourites

Bangladesh has a terrific record at home has won eight out of their last ten bilateral ODI series at home. Simmons knows they’ve tough tasks in their hands but he said his players will be hungry to do well at the highest level.

“Bangladesh is clearly favourites because they play well at home,” Simmons said. “We can’t argue with that. Sometimes experience plays a part but sometimes enthusiasm and hunger trumps experience. We do have a few experienced players. We left the Caribbean with the aim to win the ODI series. You might say that we don’t have our full team, but at the same time we have a team here which is hungry, wants to do well, and eager to play, fight and scrap in these conditions.”

“Chance now to seal you place”

The head coach’s message for the youngsters is to grab their chances in the forthcoming Bangladesh tour.  He’s also keeping an eye on the ODI World Cup Super League.

“It is the tournament to qualify for the [2023 ODI] World Cup, so it’s a start. My rule and message to all the players here is that you are not here to fill in. You are here to give yourself a chance. You have a chance now to seal your place in the team,” he said. “If you do well here, it augers well for you moving forward. You come here and do well in the three ODIs and two Tests, you are putting yourself in a place from where nobody can move you. Only you have the opportunity.”

Windies has a Well-balanced team

Former West Indies all-rounder said his team looks a complete unit with a fighting spirit in the team and indicates he’ll be coming with a few surprises for the hosts.

“I think nine out of ten it will be on what we see as we go along. I think originally you will have somebody like the captain in the middle or late middle order and we will work out how we balance the team around him,” he said. “I think we are here with a balanced team. We have three spinners and three fast bowlers. We have a seaming allrounder. We have balance all around. The decision on whether we go with three fast bowlers and two spinners, or two fast bowlers and three spinners, hasn’t been made yet.”

Left-arm spinner Akeal Hossain had a successful season with the winners of the CPL 2020-Trinbago Knight Riders. And indicated that he’ll form a potent pair with the leg-spinner, Hayden Walsh.

“Akeal has done well. He has played for Trinidad for a number of years now, but he has done well recently in the CPL. We saw what he can do in the Powerplay and latter part of the innings. He is also a brilliant fieldsman and hold his own with the bat. He is an allround cricketer. We hope he can settle and maybe form a partnership with Hayden,” Simmons said.

Windies will undergo a last round of testing on January 13 post which they can hit the nets and the training ground. The 5 match tour will kick off on January 20 with the first ODI and it’ll end with a Test Match in Dhaka beginning on February 11.

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