Capitulation against England was down to ‘bad shot selection’ - Phil Simmons

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25 Oct 2021 | 09:53 AM
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Capitulation against England was down to ‘bad shot selection’ - Phil Simmons

The Windies head coach asserted that the team will not eschew its aggressive approach

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons, ahead of his side’s second Super 12 game against South Africa, claimed that ‘bad shot selection’ let the Windies down against England, and admitted that the team architected its own downfall. 

Batting first in Dubai, the Windies, in what was an inexplicable batting performance, were bowled out for a mere 55. Only one batter - Chris Gayle - reached double digits, and lack of application from the entire unit saw England demolish the Caribbean side.

Head coach Simmons said that England’s bowling was far from ‘extraordinary’, and claimed that poor execution hurt his side in the first game.

“For me, Saturday was just about bad shot selection," Simmons said on Monday.

"The bowling wasn't, as we would say, extraordinary. All the guys have played against these guys [England] before, so I just put it down to bad shot selection. We need to improve that tenfold by the time we get to Tuesday."

As many as 8 Windies batsmen were dismissed ‘caught’, and in the aftermath of the 55 all-out, the team came under fire for its reckless ‘boom or bust’ approach. But Simmons defended his side’s aggressive tactic, and insisted that the batters will only have to be careful about their shot selection.

"Well, the style in which we play our cricket has always been in the style in which we play our cricket," Simmons said. 

"But we also got to assess the situation at the time and play according to the situation. So, there's enough experience in the team for that; any two batsmen in there at the same time would have that experience to assess the situation and play accordingly. 

“We will continue to be in our aggressive state, but our shot-selection and assessment of the situation must be a lot better."

A notable exclusion was that of Roston Chase, who struck a fifty in the warm-up game against Afghanistan and was touted, prior to the tournament, to be the team’s anchor. The Windies middle-order, against England, lacked an anchor, but Simmons defended the team selection and asserted that he was crystal clear about the team combination as soon as he assessed the conditions.

"First of all, I don't think we misread the pitch," Simmons said. "Yes, spinners got some wickets, but as you go along, we've seen that.... the pitch was a good pitch at the start. You have to make the most of the first six-seven overs and you have to fight till you get to the latter part of the innings. 

“I think when we assessed the pitch, we assessed the squad, we thought that the XI that we went into the game with was the right squad for that game. Yes, Chase got runs in the game before [54 not out in the warm-up against Afghanistan] but when we were in the ground, we assessed that was the right combination for Saturday."

The Windies were undone by spin against England, and on Tuesday they will be coming up against the left-arm wrist-spin of Tabraiz Shamsi, the number one ranked T20I bowler in the world. 

Shamsi, earlier this year, spun a web around the Windies batters, taking 7 wickets in the five-match bilateral series that the two teams played, and Simmons revealed that plans have been devised to overcome the threat of the Proteas man.

'Yeah, we've been looking back at that [T20I series in the West Indies] and seeing how in the games so far here [in the UAE] how people have played and won but also about how batsmen are going to find a way to score off him and without him being such of a threat."

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South Africa vs West IndiesICC World Twenty20, 2021West IndiesSouth AfricaPhil Simmons

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