Better pitches needed in First-Class cricket to groom batters: West Indies coach Simmons

Abhishek Singh

| Aug 25, 11:56 AM

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West Indies Test batting has been poor and it was evident in both the two-match series against South Africa as well as Pakistan. Phil Simmons, the coach of West Indies conceded that his batters have been average and even below that, but stressed upon the fact that to improve Test batting, pitches in First-Class cricket need to better in West Indies. 

"We have to make our grounds better in terms of our pitches so our guys are able to bat and improve [and] bat longer. There's quite a few things we can do to push ourselves to the next level,” Simmons said after the team’s 109 run defeat against Pakistan in the second Test at Sabina Park in Jamaica. 

The First Class competition in West Indies, known as Regional West Indies Championship was last played for the 2019-20 season and that too was cut short after only eight rounds. The 12 round competition could not be completed due to the Covid-19 and ever since there has been no First-Class cricket for players ever since. 

Simmons, who took over the coaching of the West Indian Men’s team also said that the batters have been able to get to 40s and 50s, but have been unable to get that big hundred and that needs to be addressed. The coach further went on to seek the support of the Caribbean people to back his batters so that they keep 

"We see that we can bat. We are spending 110 balls for 50 runs but it's how we read the situation of the game. We've got to assess those situations in order for us to get the big scores. 

“We've seen a more controlled approach to the start of everyone's innings, but we have to work out how we go from the 40s and 50s to the 100s and 150s,” he said. 

“The bowling has been exceptional - it carries its weight and pulls the team - but the batters have to sit down and work out how to get to the scores we want to get. We need the backing, the batsmen need the encouragement. We don't see what's happening in the background, but they are working hard,” the 58-year-old, a Test batter himself in his playing days added.

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