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West Indies need to wake up, start being as professional as they can be when batting: Simmons

Hobart, Oct 17 (IANS) In the aftermath of their shock 42-run loss to Scotland in their Group B match at round one of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, West Indies head coach Phil Simmons lashed out at his side, saying his batters need to “wake up” and “start being as professional as they can” while batting.

Chasing 161 at Bellerive Oval, West Indies were woeful with the bat and never had any rhythm or momentum at all. They were also confused over either hitting boundaries or rotating the strike as Mark Watt (3/12) and off-spinner Michael Leask (2/14) shared five wickets between themselves and bowled 27 dot balls.

Such was the shambolic batting performance from the two-time T20 World Cup winners that they lost seven wickets in 26 runs from overs 6 to 13, starting from 53/1 in 5.4 overs, to lose the match by 42 runs and put a serious dent in their chances of qualification for Super 12 stage.

“I think the only way you can look at it is — disappointed. I think our batting, at least today, definitely was a bit unprofessional. And we need to wake up and start being as professional as we can be when we are batting. The bowlers seem to be working hard and putting us in good positions, but the batters continue to falter,” said Simmons in the post-match press conference.

Simmons was unable to put into words why West Indies’ batting collapses were becoming a frequent sight in T20Is and were extremely critical of soft dismissals in Monday’s match. “I don’t know. We haven’t started the inquest in the dressing room yet. Let them calm down a little bit first or let myself calm down a little bit first before I go into the dressing room!”

“But I think it’s just too many soft dismissals. I think as batsmen you have to pay a lot more attention to your wicket. Every time we play we are up there with the run rate. It doesn’t matter who we are playing against, but we keep losing wickets and soft wickets. So I think that I’ve been trying to remedy it for the last couple of months. Doesn’t seem like it’s there yet.”

In their innings, West Indies lost major batters who were in pursuit of getting the big hits over the longer boundaries straight down the ground and were unable to get the majority of their boundaries through the small dimensions square of the wicket. It took a 33-ball 38 from Jason Holder to save the West Indies from being out for a double-digit score.

Asked if West Indies batters could have been better in batting strategy, Simmons replied in the affirmative. “You summed it up there. You don’t need me to answer it. And that’s exactly it. You’ve got to sum up the situation and play to the situation of the game. I don’t think we did that at all times today.”

There is very less time for the West Indies to regroup as they return to the venue for Monday’s match on Wednesday, up against Zimbabwe, in a must-win affair.

“We need to beat Zimbabwe first. We think about everything else. We need to beat Zimbabwe. I think that’s the first step as we go along. When we get back here at this time on Wednesday, then we may be thinking a lot different about all those things you spoke about,” added Simmons.

Simmons signed off by praising Scotland for making a giant improvement with the 42-run win over his team on Monday.

“I think they’ve all improved. We keep saying the level of cricket you give them, they’re going to improve. I think they’re getting a lot more cricket at that level now. So, you see the improvement. So, they’re all improving.”

–IANS

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