West Indies coach Phil Simmons had admitted that the Sri Lanka series will be crucial in picking up the right players for the T20 world cup in India later this year. Big names like Chris Gayle and Fidel Edwards have made a return to the West Indies international T20 side and it gives an indication that Simmons is looking to build a strong squad for the T20 world cup.
Gayle has been in good form in the IPL 2020 for Kings XI Punjab and had an immediate impact on the team results after coming into the playing XI. Fidel Edwards who last played for West Indies in 2012 has made a comeback into the international setup at 39 years and is still looking lethal with his raw pace and shearing yorkers. Spin bowling all-rounder Akeal Hosein and seamer Kevin Sinclair are the new recruits into the team for the Sri Lanka series.
Phil Simmons Happy To Have Experience
The 41-year-old Chris Gayle played for the Quetta Gladiators in the ongoing Pakistan Super League and looked in good touch in the two innings he batted. Phil Simmons was happy to see Gayle fitter and wanted him to show his hitting abilities in the series. He added the variety that Fidel Edwards could bring in with his pace and stated that his four overs could be crucial. He also expressed his delight in welcoming the youngsters Hosein and Sinclair to the squad.
“We see what Chris Gayle did in his last IPL stint,” Simmons said. “He shows that both with the bat and on the field, he looks fitter and feels better and he is still hitting the ball as we want to see him do it. We’ve seen Fidel in the last CPL and we have seen that he can still muster over 90mph with his searing yorkers, both at the top end and at the back end of the innings, so it is great to have the two of them with us,” Phil Simmons said.
“Akeal showed his ability in Bangladesh and he’s put himself up for selection, and young Sinclair has shown in CPL what he can do with the ball and even in this last Super50 here. It is good to have the youngsters in and give them a chance to show us what they can do,” He added.
Simmons Looking To Finalise The Specific Roles
Phil Simmons made it clear that he has no plans to rotate and wants to pick the best XI with an eye on the T20 world cup. He added that he wants to finalize the 15 or 16 member squad by July in the Australia series and fit in players for batting in the top order, middle order, or the end alongside picking the bowlers for the new ball and the death overs.
“We need to start seeing how the make-up of our team goes. We need to make sure people are able to do the job that we want them to do, whether it is at the top of the batting order, the middle, or the end. And it is the same with bowling. We’ve got to identify as soon as possible who’s going to bowl our new ball and who’s going to bowl at the death and so it starts from now.
“So by the time we are playing Australia in some T20s in July, we must know who is our final 15 or 16 to go to the World Cup,” Phil Simmons Concluded.
Kieron Pollard will captain the West Indies T20 squad after being handed over the reins from Jason Holder.