Windies head coach expects top-order batsmen to come good against England

By March 07, 2022

Tuesday marks the start of the three-Test Apex series between the West Indies and England. The visitors have not won a Test series in the Caribbean since their3-0 triumph in 2004, the same series in which Brian Lara scored a world record 400 not out in the fourth Test at the Antigua Recreation Ground.

In 2019, when the teams last met in the Caribbean, the hosts secured a 2-1 series win and West Indies head coach Phil Simmons wants his team to keep the trend alive.

“We’re looking to play the cricket that we know will put us in a position to win the series. We’re trying to make sure we’re ready for everything England can throw at us,” the Trinidadian head coach said during a pre-match press conference on Monday while indicating that it will critical for the hosts to build strong opening partnerships when they bat.

In that series, Captain Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell shared opening stands of 53, 52, 70, 17 not out, 57 and five and they will once again be entrusted with the responsibility.

“The last time we beat England here, the opening pair was Kraigg and John Campbell. Let’s hope that’s a good omen for us because they gave the team some good starts. We’ve been talking about getting a good start and making sure that the top four put things together and not leave it for the middle and lower order,” Simmons said.

“That’s been the focus of our camp leading up to this series. We need batsmen to bat long so the bowlers can have something to work with and I think the camp went well so I expect good things from them.”

The absence of James Anderson and Stuart Broad from the England team has been a big talking point ever since their squad was announced, but Simmons says he is more interested in who they do have.

“We keep harping on no Broad and Anderson but when you don’t have the experience, you have young players who are hungry to make their name and that is something that you have to guard against too. They have quality bowlers who we still have to bat well against,” he said.

Simmons also spoke about the importance of having one specialist spinner in their squad, Veerasammy Permaul.

“Your spinner, at least in the first couple of days, will always play that holding role. Permaul has been bowling really well so, hopefully, by the time we get to the fourth day he will come into play and possibly be a match-winner for us,” Simmons said.

Simmons also mentioned the conditions he expects at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.

“It looks like it’s going to be a good wicket. We’re going to have to work hard for our runs but also work hard for our wickets,” he said.

At the conclusion of the Test match, the teams move on to the Kensington Oval in Barbados for the second Test set to start on March 16. The final Test is scheduled to be played at the National Cricket Stadium in Grenada beginning on March 24.

 

 

 

 

Bradley Jacks

Bradley Jacks is a budding journalist and an avid sports fan. His love of research and sports has led him to SportsMax.tv, a place where those passions work hand in hand to allow him to produce content.

Related items

  • Small role for Matthews as Mumbai Indians secure seven-wicket win over RCB Small role for Matthews as Mumbai Indians secure seven-wicket win over RCB

    West Indies captain Hayley Matthews had only a small role to play, as her Mumbai Indians team registered a comfortable seven-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore to assume pole position of the Women’s Premier League at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, on Saturday.

    Matthews, who made 55 in a losing cause on last, got a fairly decent start, and though she failed to push on, it mattered little, as Mumbai Indians made light work of the modest target set by Royal Challengers Bangalore.

    Chasing 132, Mumbai Indians got to their target with 29 balls to spare, with Matthews contributing a brisk 21-ball 26.

    She struck three fours and a solitary six in a 45-run opening stand with Yastika Bhatia, which laid the foundation for the run chase. Bhatia lashed a 15-ball 31. 

    Matthews added a further 24 runs for the second wicket with captain Nat Sciver-Brunt (27), before holing out to cover off-spinner Shreyanka Patil.

    From there, it was left for New Zealander Amelia Kerr to apply the finish with a snappy 40 off 24 balls, including seven fours, that fuelled an important 49-run third wicket partnership with Sciver-Brunt.

    Earlier, RCB stumbled their way to 131 for six off their 20 overs after being sent in, Australian Ellyse Perry holding the innings together with an unbeaten 44 off 38 balls.

    With the innings in trouble at 42 for four in the ninth over, Perry put on 29 for the fifth wicket with fellow countrywoman Sophie Molineux (12), before adding a further 51 for the seventh wicket with another international teammate Georgia Wareham, who made 27 from 20 deliveries.

    The win was Mumbai’s third in four games, putting them top of the standings on six points.

  • Glenn Phillips grabs five wickets as New Zealand cling to hope Glenn Phillips grabs five wickets as New Zealand cling to hope

    New Zealand kept their hopes in the first Test alive as Glenn Phillips took five wickets to bowl Australia out and set a target of 369 on the third day in Wellington.

    Nightwatchman Nathan Lyon was the unlikely top scorer for Australia, falling on 41 with his first Test 50 in sight.

    Cameron Green continued his form with 34, but all-rounder Phillips spun his way to five wickets and was on a hat-trick after removing Travis Head for 29 and dismissing Mitch Marsh with the next ball.

    Phillips finished with 5-45 as Australia were all out for 164.

    The Australians struck early in the Blackcaps innings, Lyon dismissing Tom Latham and Kane Williamson for single-digit scores, before part-timer Head removed Will Young for 15.

    Rachin Ravindra (56 not out) and Daryl Mitchell (12 not out) dug in for the rest of the day.

    Two days remain with New Zealand requiring 257 pull off what would be an incredible victory.

  • Mauricio Pochettino preaches patience with Reece James despite England hopes Mauricio Pochettino preaches patience with Reece James despite England hopes

    Mauricio Pochettino insists Reece James will not be rushed back from the hamstring injury that has disrupted his season, even if a delayed return costs him a place in England’s Euro 2024 squad.

    The club captain has made just eight Premier League appearances this campaign and is at risk of missing out on a second international tournament in as many years, having been ruled out of the 2022 World Cup with a knee problem.

    He featured only 16 times in the league last season when a combination of knee and hamstring injuries kept him on the sidelines for club and country.

    And after being forced off during August’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool he has had even worse luck this term.

    The 24-year-old, who has only once in his Chelsea career reached 30 league appearances in a season, teased on social media this week that “the comeback is coming” and has returned to the training pitch, albeit working separately from his team-mates.

    However, with a history of recurring fitness problems, Pochettino was understandably cautious about reintroducing him and was adamant he would not be hurried back for the sake of his international place.

    “I cannot say the date of when it’s possible,” said the Argentinian. “His target and our target is for him to be fit and feel happy and well. Then we’ll see about the possibility of going to the Euros or not, or to be ready for next season or to play before we finish this season.

    “The most important thing now is to build his confidence, his physical condition, to recover all the good feelings.

    “The target is not to try and play the last five games or in the Euros or pre-season. The target is to build again his confidence and to feel strong, then to start to play when he feels strong and can deal again with the competition.”

    Despite establishing himself as a key figure for Chelsea when fit, James has so far made just a single major tournament appearance, starting for Gareth Southgate’s side in a goalless draw with Scotland at Euro 2020.

    He looked set to be a member of the squad in Qatar until a knee injury in a Champions League match against AC Milan scuppered his chances.

    “I didn’t speak with (Southgate),” said Pochettino. “But we have spoken people involved in (the FA), medical, performance people.

    “It’s not ‘now I can go on the pitch, I can play’. It’s to be sure we can go to the competition and he can feel strong and can forget all that has happened in the past.”

    James will be one of seven players unavailable to Pochettino at Brentford on Saturday.

    Injures have severely disrupted the seasons of Christopher Nkunku, Romeo Lavia, Lesley Ugochukwu and Carney Chukwuemeka, whilst Wesley Fofana is likely to be forced to miss the entire campaign.

    The manager reiterated his frustration at the impact injuries have had on his first season in charge.

    “When you start the season, you put in your head the idea of the potential of the squad,” he said. “When you think about Nkunku, Reece, (Ben) Chilwell or Fofana, Lavia, (Moises) Caicedo, you imagine the players in the best place, with all their potential.

    “Then when the circumstances happen, of course it’s about translating the reality. If you go back and say ‘no, you said we can play to win the Premier League’ – when you see the possibility that you have with the squad, then of course.

    “But then with the circumstance, the reality, we’ve had 10, 12 players every single week out. That will affect the performance of the team.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.