PREVIEW Increased discipline needed to rescue series: Simmons

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons.

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada – A concerned head coach Phil Simmons has urged his batting group for increased discipline ahead of Thursday’s fourth Twenty20 International against Pakistan.

While the home side won last Saturday’s opener with a brazen show of batting force, similar approaches in the next two matches led to their demise, even though the victory targets were all virtually the same.

And even though captain Kieron Pollard has been adamant West Indies would not compromise their power-hitting strengths, Simmons said the hosts still needed to let the state of the game dictate their approach.

“The area of concern right now is the thought when batting, the assessment of the situation when batting because we know once we assess the situation correctly and we play to suit, we’re going to win more matches than we lose,” Simmons pointed out.

“What we can do is that we as batsmen can assess the situation a lot better than we have done in the last two games and then play according to the problem. 

“So we have to look at letting the situation determine how we play a little bit more than we have done in the last couple of games.”

He continued: “As batsmen, you have to tweak your approach to the situation. We need to continue assessing that and making sure [we] are in the [game].

“The perfect example is the last game against Sri Lanka in the previous series when Jason (Holder) and Fabian (Allen) were batting and the thought process where Jason was able to bat out the over for Fabian to have a chance of winning the game.

“That’s needed now, that sort of communication and that kind of assessment of the situation.”

West Indies chased down 161 in the opening T20I to win by eight wickets but faced with 167 and 168 in the last two games, came up short by 16 runs and one run respectively.

That was despite dominating the opening power-plays in each game with totals of 73, 53, and 48, to install themselves as favorites in each run chase.

Simmons stressed that every player needed to be invested in the same game plan, so there was a more strategic approach.

“We’re trying to get everyone to think along the same lines to be able to assess what’s happening out there,” he said.

“It’s not for lack of experience – the experience is there. The bowling has been showing it’s improving. So we need to think about it, assess what’s happening a lot better in the middle. 

“We have a lot of young bowlers in the squad, but they have been doing what they’ve been asked to do and improving, so I think the batting is the only thing now and the assessment of how we get to the runs. That we need.”

Simmons said he was still “surprised” West Indies had squandered winning positions in both games.

“The situation that we were in in the two games, we should have still won with the experience we have in the team. It is surprising [we lost],” Simmons noted.

West Indies and South Africa face off at 2 pm at the Grenada National Stadium.


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