Overjoyed Simmons says series result 'unbelievable' achievement

Sport

Overjoyed Simmons says series result 'unbelievable' achievement

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

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DHAKA, Bangladesh (CMC) — An elated Head Coach Phil Simmons said Sunday the performance of the West Indies side in the two-Test series here had exceeded his expectations.

Stressing even though he was usually positive ahead of every series, Simmons said the fact an inexperienced side had trounced Bangladesh on home soil had been an achievement hard to anticipate.

“It's a joyous occasion. It's an occasion which we haven't been able to celebrate as a West Indies cricket team since 2012,” Simmons said in reference to the last time West Indies won two Tests away from home.

“It's just unbelievable. Words fail me right now but the joy that's inside me right now is unbelievable.”

He continued: “We're playing Bangladesh at home and to come and to win two Test matches back to back in Bangladesh to win the series in Bangladesh, it does [exceed my expectations].

“I always feel I can win every time I go out there but I must be honest with this one.”

West Indies arrived here with a weakened Test squad after six first choice players, including Test Captain Jason Holder and backed out over COVID-19 fears.

The Caribbean side suffered a chastening 3-0 drubbing in the preceding one-day series that featured 10 debutants but the Test side stunned the cricketing world when they trounced the hosts by three wickets in the first Test in Chattogram last week.

At the centre of the success was batsman, Kyle Mayers who hit an unbeaten double hundred and fellow debutant Nkrumah Bonner, who struck 86, as West Indies chased down 395 to win on the final day.

Bonner, adjudged Man-of-the-Series, shone again in the second Test here with 90 in the first innings and 38 in the second, with wicketkeeper batsman Joshua Da Silva, in only his second Test series, top-scoring with 92 also in the first innings.

With rookie spinners Rahkeem Cornwall and Jomel Warrican — with just 15 Tests between them — also making an impact in the series, Simmons said it was important to ensure the current group continued to develop together.

“I would like to see this group continue to learn. From the first practice we had to now, there has been so much learning,” Simmons explained.

“Bonner, Da Silva, Mayers, (Shayne) Moseley — there has been so much learning from the younger players batting-wise, especially because we all know our batting has struggled for a while.

“The bowlers keep keeping us in matches so it was great to see them (batsmen) get to this level and it's only for them to improve. They must continue to improve their Test match skills.”

The tour was the third undertaken by West Indies since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic following series in England and New Zealand last year, and Simmons said West Indies remained committed to international cricket especially in the trying global environment.

“All these tours we've done is about cricket. It's about the game we love but it's about our duty to cricket to keep cricket alive in the world,” he stressed.

“Other teams are doing it — South Africa are in Pakistan, England are in India — but all of us know we have to play the cricket in order for it to continue.”


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