Simmons says batsmen's assessment skills fell short in Ireland series
West Indies Captain Keiron Pollard (left) and Head Coach Phil Simmons(Photo: CWI)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — West Indies Head Coach Phil Simmons says the side's One-Day International (ODI) batsmen failed at assessing what was required and operating accordingly, in the just-ended series which they lost to Ireland.

And he agrees with captain Keiron Pollard that West Indies needs to take a holistic approach to fixing its batting problem.

The Caribbean side lost the just-ended three-match series 2-1 after winning the opening match. Despite some bright sparks, the batting unit put in a mediocre performance.

Simmons said on Tuesday that he is not satisfied the players are “assessing the situation and playing the situation”.

“Our thinking when we are batting is not there,” he lamented.

“Yes, it was a difficult pitch to bat on all three days at the start, but we got through most of the difficult period and then things went astray. So I think….they're not assessing the situation properly in the middle.

“It is bad shot selection and that comes down to assessing the situation and the game. You need guys to bat for a while and just play and then guys still getting out with big shots; when you need guys to bat for a while they [are] getting caught on the boundary; when you need guys to bat for a while they [are] get caught by playing big shots, so I think assessing the situation and the game is a huge part of the batting failure,” the coach added.

Speaking after the third and final ODI on Sunday at Sabina Park, Jamaica, Pollard said a holistic approach that encompasses all West Indies players, not just the ODI squad, is required to see a turnaround in the side's fortunes.

Simmons agreed that changes are needed across the board — from the youth to domestic to international levels.

“Definitely things need to be changed at different levels because you don't become bad batsmen at this level. You come up here thinking you are able to play up here but things are not going the way they should do, so there must be some sort of responsibility taken at the levels before us and that's something that has to be addressed, generally, as an organisation,” the former West Indies batsman said.

“Everything comes from lower down. If you're coming into our squad and you're averaging 30s, when you come up to the top level you're not going to average 40 and 50. The holistic approach means that all through the ranks, even from the Under-19 going on now, we have to be looking at preparing people to play at international level. Averaging 30s and 20s in domestic level doesn't prepare you to play at the international level.”

Simmons added that the players also need to “fight harder, they need to put more effort into wanting to be the best in the world” when they reach the international level.

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