Hard work can make West Indies a strong Test team: Phil Simmons
Bridgetown (Barbados), May 7 (IANS) West Indies head coach Phil Simmons believes the Caribbean side has the makings of being a competitive Test unit but says commitment to hard work needs to remain key to the team's focus.
The West Indies stunned England last Sunday, beating them by five wickets inside three days at the Kensington Oval to ensure a 1-1 draw in the three-Test series. Simmons said it was evident from the performance that they had what was required to do well in Test cricket, reports CMC.
"The key message was that there is the ability there to play Test cricket and do well at Test cricket. We have to start looking and making sure we know exactly what we are doing and what direction we are going and all the players are part of that," he said.
"Application is a really big thing and it was something that we had talked about. It is a big game, a game of patience, like a chess game and everybody had to understand what application meant, and everyone came to the party as far as that was concerned."
Against the ropes in the first Test in Antigua, West Indies came out swinging on the final day to pull off a memorable draw with fast bowler Jason Holder scoring a maiden unbeaten hundred. However, they returned to their wayward ways in the second Test in Grenada, slumping from 202/2 at the start of the final day to 307 all out, paving the way for England's nine-wicket win.
West Indies then surprised many in the third and final Test when they overcame a first innings deficit to bowl out England for 123 in their second innings and then cruise to a victory target of 192.
Jermaine Blackwood, 23 and with only eight Tests to his name, struck 85 and 47 not out to be pivotal to the Windies win but Simmons said this type of talent needed to be allied with hard work, for there to be consistent results.
"The talent becomes unimportant if you are not working. But if you have the talent and you are hard working then you are going somewhere. The talent is there with a lot of them, we just have to make sure that we work hard with that talent," the Trinidadian said.
West Indies will have a short break before hosting Australia in a two-Test series which bowls off next month in Dominica and Jamaica.