Florida [USA]: West Indies head coach Phil Simmons believes that the reigning World T20 champions need to be fully prepared to tackle India, whom he believes will seek to avenge the World T20 semifinal loss in the forthcoming two-match series in Lauderhill, Florida.
Two-time champions West Indies, meanwhile, can leapfrog second-ranked India in the T20I team rankings with a 2-0 win on American shores.
“It (ranking) is motivation but I think, as in Mumbai, just to beat India because that’s always going to be the team to beat in T20 cricket because they’ve commanded the format for a long period. So winning against India is always going to be high on the agenda. Where we get after that, we are happy at that,” Simmons was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“The only thing that we are doing is that we will prepare as best as we can because India is going to be coming looking for revenge for the semi-final loss and we have to make sure that we are ready for whatever they bring to us,” the coach said on the eve of the opening game at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium.
Simmons also pointed out that having more senior players in the T20 squad as opposed to the inexperienced Test side that lost 2-0 to India in the preceding four-match series was a good feeling as it will lighten his load of work.
Newly-appointed captain Carlos Brathwaite will lead a formidable side that is bolstered by the addition of senior players such as Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell and Kieron Pollard.
Although Brathwaite had stated that T20 players were ‘mature enough’ to handle the leadership change, coach Simmons observed that the primary objective of the new captain would be to carry on the ‘good work’ that his predecessor Darren Sammy had done while at the helm of the team.
“I think his (Brathwaite’s) main mindset is that we have to continue where Sammy left us and the good work that Sammy did in this position,” Simmons said. “I think that’s the mindset of all players that we have to continue the work we did in the [ T20] World Cup and before that.” (ANI)