India vs West Indies 2016: Phil Simmons focused on helping his side bounce back
Despite being thoroughly outplayed by the Indians in the first Test at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, West Indies head coach Phil Simmons still remained upbeat about his team’s fortunes.
Speaking to reporters at the Norman Manley International Airport in Jamaica, the 53-year-old acknowledged the hosts’ shortcomings during the series opener and called for a huge improvement from the players in all departments of the game.
Simmons felt, “You can’t be demoralized with one Test out of four (because) there are still three Test matches to go. We know we didn’t play well and I think that is the good thing about it. If we had played well and we got beaten like that, then something (would be) wrong. So, we didn’t play well and we just have to make sure that we hit our straps when we are here.”
He added, “You don’t look for excuses, you look for reasons why you do things wrong and the reason is that we didn’t bowl well and we didn’t bat well. So we have to do both of them well and we can’t ask for anything else.”
After losing the toss on a flat batting surface, the home side struggled to pick wickets and ended up conceding 566 runs in the first essay. Things became significantly worse as an inept performance from their batsmen against both pacers as well as spinners resulted in an innings defeat.
Dismissing question marks about the skill level of the Caribbean cricketers, Simmons claimed that if they were not talented enough, then ‘they wouldn’t be playing for the West Indies’.
He insisted, “We can’t make any excuse about (a) youthful team. If you are there (in the team) you need to bat and you need to bowl, so we just didn’t bowl well and we didn’t put on enough partnerships when we batted. So it is a case of having to make sure that we do everything that matters in this match to make the series even.”
One of the most discernable aspects about West Indies’ squad composition was the presence of only one genuine pace bowler. However, the selectors have rectified it by including 19-year-old Alzarri Joseph for the second Test.
Hoping for a better outing in Jamaica, Simmons noted, “Right now, all I can tell you is that this is what we have and we need to make use of what we have and perform. We have to work hard on what we didn’t do well. If we do things well then we can say it’s the best we have, but we have to do things well first. We need to play well and then we will see where we are as a unit.”
The second match begins at the Sabina Park from Saturday onwards.