Heart, character in short supply, says Simmons


Heart, character in short supply, says Simmons

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

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CHATTOGRAM, Bangladesh (CMC) — Head Coach Phil Simmons was frank in his assessment of West Indies following their chastening whitewash here yesterday, lamenting the lack of “heart and character” shown in the three-match series.

The Caribbean side failed to seriously challenge the hosts in any department, losing all three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) comprehensively on the back of woeful batting performances.

“I think our performance has been under par. I don't think we batted as well as we can do,” Simmons said following his side's 120-run defeat at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium here.

“The bowling wasn't that bad — on this wicket, to limit them to under 300 has been good but our batting has been poor throughout the series.”

He continued: “Every time you have low scores like that there is not enough character shown, there is not enough heart shown, determination — all the words you can use.

“It's all about putting everything in [while] out there and making sure that things happen the way you want them to happen — and that's not been done.”

The understrength side, devoid of several first-choice players, never came to terms with the experienced Bangladesh unit in the two Dhaka ODIs, losing by six wickets in the opener last Wednesday and by seven wickets two days later.

West Indies could only muster 122 and 148 on either occasion.

Chasing 298 yesterday, they folded for 177, failing yet again to come to grips with the lethal combination of seam and spin employed by Bangladesh.

Simmons said work was needed, especially with getting batsmen to properly deal with spinning pitches.

“We need to play spin better. We need to be able to rotate strike and score boundaries against Bangladesh a lot better, so there is work to be done,” he stressed.

The series marked the first one for West Indies in the newly formed International Cricket Council World Cup Super League, which serves as a qualifier for the 2023 showpiece in India.

Each side in the Super League will play four home and four away three-match series, after which the top seven teams — other than India — will gain direct qualification for the World Cup.

Despite their poor start Simmons said there was still time for West Indies to recover, with several series scheduled for the Caribbean in the coming months.

“We've lost the first series but there are a lot of other series to play,” Simmons pointed out.

“We just need to make sure that when we play the other series that we get points from every series. From here, the only way we can go is up.

“We need to improve on everything because we've lost three games. We need to improve in every area, especially in the runs that we put on the board. That's something we've got to work on from now until the next series, which is in March.”

West Indies were forced to select a second string side for the tour after the likes of Captain Kieron Pollard, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Roston Chase and Sheldon Cottrell all declined selection due to concerns about the COVID-19 situation in the country.

Simmons will now turn his attention to the two-Test series starting here February 3.

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