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Simmons wants massive effort from batsmen in England  Tests

first_imgMANCHESTER, England, (CMC) – Head coach Phil Simmons on Saturday underscored the importance of West Indies posting large totals, if they were to be competitive in next month’s three-Test series against England.Speaking in a media conference via Zoom, Simmons said if the Caribbean side’s “world class” bowling attack were to be afforded the chance to take 20 wickets consistently, the batting needed to fire on all cylinders.“I think that’s the important part of this tour,” Simmons said from quarantine at Old Trafford here.“There’s a lot of pressure on the batsmen to perform because the bowling unit has been carrying the Test team for a while now and it’s something that we are harping on a lot.“Not to put extra pressure because there’s enough pressure playing a Test match, but we need to get that total of 400, 450 in order to give this bowling unit, which I think is a top class bowling unit – the fast bowlers especially – a chance in these three Test matches.”West Indies have struggled to post 400 runs in an innings in recent times, passing the mark just once in their last 16 innings. On that occasion, they raised 415 in the second innings of the opening Test against England in Bridgetown last year, laying the foundation for a commanding 381-run victory.Nine times during the same period dating back to the tour of Bangladesh in 2018, West Indies have managed less than 250 in an innings. They have lost eight of their last 15 Tests since inside the last two years and won six.West Indies’ task was made even more difficult with the withdrawal of of experienced Darren Bravo who averages 37 from 54 Tests and rising star Hetmyer, who was instrumental in the historic series win over England last year.Both batsmen expressed concern about their safety on the tour amid the COVID-19 pandemic and declined selection.However, Simmons said while they would be missed, it was critical other batsmen assumed responsibility in their absence.“We know and we understand the quality of these two individuals and we know what we will be missing but in situations like this, we have to work hard with the guys who are here and just make sure that the work we’re doing is putting them in a position to be able to fill those two shoes for the series,” Simmons pointed out.“Hopefully whoever fills their shoes for the series can go on and be as great as they want to be. We’ve just got to work hard with whom we have here and try to get two players to fill those boots.”The series, which bowls off July 8 at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, will be the first of its kind to be played in a “bio-secure” environment amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which has already resulted in 294 000 infections and over 41 500 deaths in the United Kingdom.With cricket halted globally since March, both teams will enter the series without match practice and Simmons believes this will create a more even contest.“I think it’s a plus because England haven’t come from a tour or two tours recently and we’ve just been playing cricket at home,” he explained.“In a normal situation we would have been coming from camps and England would have been halfway through their season and the series would’ve been going right now. “So I think that’s a plus for us because it evens out things a little bit due to the fact they have not been playing competitive cricket for a while also.”last_img

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