West Indies Test side “balanced”; aim is to win series- Head Coach


West Indies Head Coach Phil Simmons has shrugged off criticism over the combination of the Test squad for the two matches against Bangladesh, noting it is a balanced unit and the aim is to win the series.

Pundits had firstly questioned the omission of promising pacer Chemar Holder from the Test squad, with head selector Roger Harper noting it was based on conditions.

Former West Indies batting coach, and current head coach of the Bangladesh High Performance unit, Toby Radford, questioned the conventional wisdom of the spin-heavy squad selected by the regional side, noting the hosts ‘grew up facing spin’.

The argument was for more pace and hostility, which will probably unsettle the Bangladeshis.

The Test squad at current features four spinners in Rahkeem Cornwall, all-rounder Kavem Hodge, and left-armers Veerasammy Permaul and Jomel Warrican, along with the regular the fast-bowling trio of Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach and Alzarri Joseph.

Simmons, who is also a selector, said the squad is balanced: “I think we are here with a balanced unit…it is a case where we have balance all round.”

He indicated they will make the final decision on the combination of the attack closer to the match.

West Indies nor Bangladesh are in contention for a spot in the final of the ICC Test championship. The Caribbean side has 40 points and the hosts are yet to come of the mark.

However, Bangladesh dominated the West Indies on the last tour, which again puts them as favourites.

“Any series you go in to; the first aim is to win the series. It is always going to be hard if you are away from home.  If you watch around the world, every team plays well at home and it is going to be hard series, but the first aspect will be the win the series and the second is that we prepare well give the best opportunity to perform and win the Test matches here.”

The first Test starts February 3, followed by the second on February 11.

West Indies Test Squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Jermaine Blackwood (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, John Campbell, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Kavem Hodge, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Shayne Moseley, Veerasammy Permaul, Kemar Roach, Raymon Reifer, Jomel Warrican.

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