West Indies coach Phil Simmons senses a point of advantage for the tourists when they play England the next month in Southampton in the first of the three Tests. The Carribeans prepare to play a historic Test series as international cricket returns to the scene after having been suspended since the last three months due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The West Indians, led by Jason Holder, landed in Manchester last Tuesday after undergoing all the necessary tests and screenings in Antigua. The two sides will play the first Test in Southampton, beginning from the 8th of June before moving to Manchester for the next couple. English seamer James Anderson extended his gratefulness and lauded the tourists’ courageous decision to visit one of the most affected nations in the world.
Meanwhile, Phil Simmons believes that since the matches will be contested behind closed doors, the hosts won’t have the Barmy Army cheering for them. Hence, visitors can use the same in their favour. The 57-year-old went also considered the fact that England haven’t played any competitive cricket; the same can also be beneficial.
“The nice part for us is that 20,000 Englishmen raving for England, and that crowd support, it’s not there for them. So that in a way will help us, so it’s good from that point of view. So, I think that is a plus for us, because it evens out things a little bit, with the fact they haven’t been playing competitive cricket for a while also.” Simmons stated as quoted by Mid day.
I think we’ll be ready and looking to defend our trophy: Phil Simmons
Phil Simmons further claimed that they will miss the likes of Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, and Keemo Paul, who have opted out of the tour due to health concerns. At the same, he said that they had accumulated the best squad they can and can defend the Wisden Trophy. Jason Holder’s men captured the title previously on their home soil; however, it is for three decades that they won in England.
“Unfortunately a few guys decided not to come but we are here with the best squad that we can have here. And from the way we’ve started our work, the guys have been putting in, I think we’ll be ready and looking to defend our trophy,” Simmons.
“We know what we’ll be missing. But in situations like this we have to work hard with the guys who are here and make sure that what we’re doing is putting them in a position to fill those two shoes for the series. Hopefully whoever fills the shoes can go on and be as great as they want to be,” the Trinidadian added.