Windies coach Phil Simmons is standing firmly behind the comments of his captain, Kieron Pollard and demanding that his young charges play a ‘complete’ game of cricket against Ireland when the final ODI of their Colonial Medical Insurance series bowls off on Sunday.

“I think the message is for us to play a complete game and not just bowl well, or bat well, or field well and finish the series 3-0, because 3-0 is always better than 2-1.

The West Indies took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series on Thursday when they inched over the line in a one-wicket victory at Kensington Oval. At the same venue, the West Indies had shown chinks in their armour in a more dominant display, running out five-wicket winners on that occasion.

Alzarri Joseph had earned man-of-the-match honours in both games, bagging 4-37 and 4-32 to keep the West Indies’ targets relatively low.

“I’m happy with Alzarri, not just on the pitch but the way he prepares, the way he talks about cricket and about bowling. He seems to be maturing very quickly and it showed in the two games and the way he bowled,” said Simmons regarding those two performances.

Despite the good bowling of the West Indies, the batting has left much to be desired with only Evin Lewis, 99 not out, and Nicholas Pooran, 52, showing a real willingness to bat deep into an innings.

“That’s the crux of the matter here. We need to finish well and play a properly constructed, complete, 100 overs,” said Simmons.

Pollard had been a little more caustic, saying the West Indies top order needed to stop wasting good form with poor approaches to batting.

“We can’t continue to just give away our hand just like that when you have form and confidence because it will come back to bite you,” said Pollard, who seemed to be wagging his finger at the talented Shimron Hetmyer.

Hetmyer had lost his wicket for six, having faced just six deliveries before firing an injudicious pull shot that landed safely in the gloves of Irish wicketkeeper, Lorcan Tucker.

“The batsmen need to go back to what we were doing in India and how we were putting scores together, creating a platform for the big hitters down the bottom. We need to make sure that we do that in this coming game,” said Simmons.

West Indies coach Phil Simmons is not be concerned that the life-changing contract awarded to Sheldon Cottrell to play for the Kings XI Punjab in this season’s Indian Premier League (IPL) will impact his cricket.

Specialist fielding coach, Trevor Penney, has been named as an assistant to West Indies head coach, Phil Simmons, with specific responsibility for white-ball cricket.

Penney will begin a two-year contract with the West Indies on January 2, 2019, with the hopes of getting the team ready for the Colonial Medical Insurance One-Day International series against Ireland at home.

That series will comprise three ODI games. There will also be three Sandals T/20 Internationals to consider against the Irishmen, both encounters from January 7-19.

The 51-year-old Penny, himself a former player for Warwickshire, has had stints as head coach of Sri Lanka, one as fielding coach of India, as well as was a consultant coach to the Netherlands.

Penney also comes to the position with experience from the Indian Premier League (IPL), where he served as assistant coach at the King’s XI Punjab, Deccan Chargers and the Kolkata Knight Riders. He also provided his services to the St Lucia Zouks and to the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL). Most recently he helped the Barbados Tridents to their second lien on the CPL trophy.

There he was assisting Simmons, who believes him to be well suited for his latest tour of duty.

“Trevor is an excellent coach and has demonstrated this everywhere he has worked. He has huge experience with Sri Lanka and India at the highest international level, and in most T20 leagues around the world including the CPL. He brings enormous energy and is very well respected by all the players,” said Simmons.

Penney believes he is also a good fit, especially because of the experience he has with the very players who make up the white ball squads.

“I’m thrilled and excited to be given this opportunity to work with this brilliant bunch of cricketers and staff led by Kieron Pollard and Phil Simmons. I’ve been lucky enough over the last few years to work with several members of the squad and the Caribbean is like ‘home away from home’ for me being involved in the CPL,” said Penney.

 

 

 

Penney is very aware that the West Indies have suffered a decline in fortunes in T20 cricket, where they have won two World Cups and wants to get them back to a stage where they are a dangerous outfit.

“We have two big T20 World Cups coming up (in Australia 2020 and India 2021) and it’s my aim to try and improve everybody and be as good as we can and hopefully win those two major ICC events for the great people of the West Indies.”

 

MATCH SCHEDULE

 

Saturday, Jan 4: warm-up vs CWI President’s XI – Three Ws Oval, Barbados

 

Tuesday, Jan 7: 1st Colonial Medical Insurance ODI – Kensington Oval, Barbados 

 

Thursday, Jan 9: 2nd Colonial Medical Insurance ODI – Kensington Oval

 

Sunday, Jan 12: 3rd Colonial Medical Insurance ODI – Grenada National Stadium, Grenada

 

Wednesday, Jan 15: 1st Sandals Resorts T20I – Grenada National Stadium 

 

Saturday, Jan 18: 2nd Sandals Resorts T20I – Warner Park, St Kitts

 

Sunday, Jan 19: 3rd Sandals Resorts T20I – Warner Park

 

 

 

TEAM MANAGEMENT

 

Phil Simmons (Head Coach)

 

Rawl Lewis (Team Manager)

 

Roddy Estwick (Assistant Coach)

 

Trevor Penney (Assistant Coach)

 

Monty Desai (Batting Coach)

 

Ronald Rogers (Strength & Conditioning Coach)

 

Denis Byam (Physiotherapist)

 

A.R. Srikkanth (Team Analyst)

 

Zephyrinus Nicholas (Massage Therapist)

 

Philip Spooner (Media Manager)

The West Indies will benefit from the return of Fabian Allen and Denesh Ramdin when they go to India for a T20I series.

Allen is said to be fully recovered from a hamstring strain which put him out of the West Indies 2-1 loss to Afghanistan in Lucknow, India recently.

Ramdin played part of the series as well but had to be replaced by Shai Hope after he also went down due to hamstring issues.

The Kieron Pollard-led squad has retained newcomers Hayden Walsh Jr. and Brandon King, with an eye firmly on the T20 World Cup next year.

Andre Russell continues to be missing from both the ODI and T20I squads although the allrounder, plagued with knee injuries, was fit enough to play in the Abu Dhabi T10 recently.

According to West Indies coach Phil Simmons, who marked his return to the post with successful series against Afghanistan, India is expected to provide more of a challenge than did Afghanistan and is a good way to continue to test the ‘newbies’ in lieu of the T20 World next year.

"We have three matches in each format, so we wanted to give each squad a chance to compete against India," said Simmons.

"No disrespect to Afghanistan, but facing India will be a more difficult series. Our players really got the hang of things, with the 3-0 series win in the ODIs [against Afghanistan], and I believe we will move from strength to strength," he added.

According to Simmons, the battle for places in the T20i squad will heat up and everybody should be given a fair chance to show what they are made of.

"In the T20s this will be another chance for them to play and develop, and again, with no disrespect to Afghanistan, this should be a stronger T20 country and we will look to see how they perform against India. The next ICC T20 World Cup is in Australia and the one after that is here in India so there is a lot of preparation to be done for first for Australia. We have given the players here a chance in this series and we know we have players outside who may be coming in later on as well, so it's good to give those here another opportunity."

The T20I series begins in Hyderabad on December 6. There are two further T20Is, in Thiruvananthapuram and Mumbai, before three ODIs in Chennai, Vizag and Cuttack.

T20I squad: Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Brandon King, Evin Lewis, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard (capt), Nicholas Pooran, Denesh Ramdin, Sherfane Rutherford, Lendl Simmons, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams

ODI squad: Sunil Ambris, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Evin Lewis, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard (capt), Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, Hayden Walsh Jr.

West Indies fast bowling legend and outspoken pundit Michael Holding has pleaded for the inclusion of former opener Desmond Haynes in the regional team’s plans going forward.

Haynes, also a member of the legendary West Indies teams of the 70s, 80s and early 90s, has continually expressed interest in occupying the position of head coach and has often received the endorsement of several prominent former players.

The 63-year-old had been in the running for the position, which was recently up for grabs, but Cricket West Indies (CWI) choose to appoint his former opening partner Phil Simmons instead.  Despite not getting the position, Holding is confident that Haynes and others who applied for the post still have plenty to offer to the region and should be included in some way or the other.

 “ I would hope that they (CWI) wouldn’t just turn their backs and say ‘Phil Simmons is the coach; that’s it – the rest of you can just sit down and wait until something else comes up,” Holding told the Line & Length cricket podcast.

“I would hope that Phil Simmons would look at the people who also applied and think to himself ‘ok, I can use some of these people in my set­up. Let me try and get these people under my wing and help this West Indies team’.”

 

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