West Indies coach Phil Simmons praises bowlers for keeping Indian batsmen quiet on Day 2
Claiming that his bowlers have made a huge improvement from the first Test at Antigua, West Indies coach Phil Simmons wants his batsmen to follow suit and approach the Test format with the patience it deserves. Simmons praised his bowlers for restricting the Indian batsmen to just 232 runs on Day 2 and feels the wickets will follow if they continued bowling with the same discipline.
"Usually, you average a day to be 270 in Test cricket with 90 full overs and we have restricted them, especially with [KL] Rahul going the way he was and then the skipper [Virat Kohli] later. Restricting them to 230 (232) in 90 (88) overs shows (that) there's improvement from Antigua," Simmons said.
"I think they learned today what we have been talking about for the last six months, about being patient in Test cricket. And when the wicket isn't assisting like this one, you have to be patient and then the pressure that you build from patience will get you wickets. I think what I have learned that they are listening sometimes. I hope they are listening all the time. They are seeking patience now, they are trying to hold these world-class batsmen [back]," he added.
When posed with the weather forecast which has predicted rain on the remaining three days of the Test match, Simmons replied in a Sehwag-esque manner drawing huge roars of laughter from the assembled reporters.
“I don't think we need them (rains) yet," he said. "I will tell you on the fourth day if we need it on fifth day. The wicket is still playing very well so it's up to the batsmen to get their heads down and get some runs.”
Simmons is hopeful that the West Indies batsmen compliment the bowlers after their disappointing performance in the first innings with the hosts getting bundled out for 196.
"The only thing we can do is to come tomorrow again and work hard to get the wickets that we have to. And then the batsmen have got to stand up because the bowlers have stood up today and hopefully they will stand up again tomorrow morning and we get the wickets we need. It's up to the batsmen to stand up now," he said.
Simmons on Cummins injury
With the visitors already 162 runs ahead with five wickets in hand, Simmons is aware that his side is still very much on the backfoot in this Test match. Their cause was not helped after debutant fast bowler Miguel Cummins limped off the field clutching the back of his thigh and Simmons revealed that he was not sure of the extent of the damage but is hopeful that it is nothing but muscle cramps.
"He had a lot of cramps today," Simmons said. "I can't tell you why because I'm not a doctor. But yeah, we basically played with two quicks today. Hopefully, he will be better tomorrow and do his job.”
Though Simmons admitted that the Indian bowlers, especially the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra, would remain a threat in the second innings as well, the West Indies coach felt that the home batsmen should hold themselves responsible for going down without putting up a fight.
“Batsmen are supposed to bat," he said. "I didn't think there was any threat in the wicket yesterday. So I would bat first again. Ashwin is the No.1 bowler in the word. He is going to be difficult on any wicket you play him on, let alone a wicket that's turning and has some bounce too. It's going to be difficult but that's what Test cricket is about. If it's not difficult it won't be called Test cricket. The batsmen know that they have to come and make sure that they put their heads down and they have to work hard against both spinners.”