West Indies coach Phil Simmons says that Marlon Samuels has nothing to prove
West Indies coach Phil Simmons feels that Marlon Samuels doesn't need to prove anything to anybody. The right-handed batsman had a torrid tour of Australia last summer, but the West Indian head coach claims that the 35-year-old’s match-winning performance against Aussies in St Kitts on Tuesday wasn't motivated by his critics.
"The fact that he's taken us to victory in the game would be enough for him," the coach told cricket.com.au.
Despite the success that the Jamaican-born has achieved in his 16-year long international career, including his match-winning performances in the finals of 2012 and 2016 T20 World Cups, he has often found it difficult to perform against Australia. His dismal time against the Aussies has seen him score just seven fifties in 51 innings against them across all formats of the game.
Samuels’ performances against the Aussies reached a new low last summer when he managed to score just 35 runs during three Tests in Hobart, Melbourne, and Sydney. He attracted heavy criticism for his performances in the series from his old foe Shane Warne.
After steering the Windies to the title of World T20 champions in April this year, he memorably dedicated his innings to the former Aussie leg-spinner. Keeping the same in mind, Simmons said that his star batsman is no longer influenced by the memories of that tour.
"I don't think he's still worrying about what some people in Australia said. I think he answered that in the T20 World Cup final. I think he's left that there.
"I think he's happy to just score the runs and for the team to win," Simmons remarked.
The batting all-rounder has a considerably poor record against the five-time World Champions, averaging a meagre 20.04 against them in One Day Internationals (ODIs) compared to his career average of 34.09.
The last four balls of his match-winning innings against the leg-spinner Adam Zampa were an absolute thriller. The audience witnessed three consecutive sixes, a brilliant effort by Travis Head on the boundary line, some heated conversations between the batsman and Australian wicket-keeper Matthew Wade and then his wicket.
Talking about the ball on which his dazzling inning came to end, the Jamaican said, "If he bowled it in the slot again I would have taken the chance, but he pushed it down the leg side.” Though he failed to reach a well-deserved century, he wasn't bothered about missing out on the milestone and further added, "The most important thing is I made 92 and the team won. It's better than making a hundred and the team lose."
Samuels' superbly paced 92 runs innings of just 87 balls powered West Indies to a 4-wicket victory over Australia at Warner Park and kept their hopes of qualifying for the final alive. This was also his first ODI half-century against Australia in as many as 15 years.