Simmons Beseeches Batsmen to ‘Stand Up’ in Wake of Defeat

MANCHESTER, England – Head coach Phil Simmons on Monday chided West Indies’ batting as “disappointing”, once again lamenting the absence of hundreds and calling on batsmen to “stand up”, following a comprehensive 113-run defeat in the second Test at Old Trafford.

In the face of a massive first innings score of 469 for nine declared by England, West Indies under-performed in reply, crashing from 242 for four to 287 all out to lose their last six wickets for 45 runs on Sunday’s penultimate day.

And set 312 for victory on Monday’s final day after England declared their second innings on 129 for three, West Indies declined to 37 for four and following a brief recovery, lost their last six wickets for 61 runs to perish for 198.

“I think it was disappointing, the way we started chasing 300. If we had batted normally between when we started and tea time [we would have been in a better position],” Simmons told media afterwards.

“The plan was to see what was happening at tea and what we had left to chase, and decide if we were going to go at it or if we were going to bat out the day. But the way we started the inning, it didn’t augur well for us and we had to be fighting to save the game.”

He continued: “You had five, maybe six half-centuries and no conversion [to triple figures]. It’s something that we’ve been talking about a lot and no one has taken up that opportunity in this game yet again so it is disappointing.

“I think that’s where things lie because had we continued from [242 for four] yesterday and one of the guys in got a hundred – another hundred-run partnership because we’ve had two for three fifty-run partnerships – [things could have been different].

“These are the little things that help you control a Test match. We had things under control up to that point.”

Rookie Shamarh Brooks hit a half-century in each inning while opener Kraigg Brathwaite, Roston Chase and Jermaine Blackwood all added fifties but failed to carry on.

In contrast, Ben Stokes struck a superb 176 in the first innings while opener Dom Sibley got 120, to underpin England’s large total.

Simmons, who had underscored the need for hundreds prior to the game, said this area was one of the major concerns for the Caribbean side heading into Friday’s start of the third and deciding Test here.

“I think we have to do something different – we just lost a Test match. We have to add to things we’ve done in the first Test match and subtract from some of the things we’ve done in this Test match, and I think it is critical that our batsmen carry on and make big hundreds,” he reiterated.

“Stokes [made] 176, [Sibley made] 120-odd. Our batsmen need to make hundreds because our bowlers are doing their jobs and now the batsmen need to stand up and do what they have to do for West Indies cricket.”

Simmons also stressed it was important batsmen were tuned into team plans, warning that individualism would not be tolerated.

“If I find that out and I think that you’re more concerned about your current form rather than what you can do for the team then you can think about your current form on the sidelines,” Simmons asserted.

“Because so far everyone has been looking to work hard for the team and if someone changes that train of thought, then they’re not there for the team so we’d have to think about that very, very seriously.”

CMC

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