‘It’s hurtful’

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—Simmons admits WI batsmen painful to watch

(SPORTS MAX) West Indies coach Phil Simmons has admitted the team’s persistent and obvious struggles with the bat are hurtful, particularly as he believes the unit had started to show improvement last year.

Despite commendable performances from its bowling line-up, the Windies batting line-up continued to struggle for yet another series after going down 3-0 to India on Thursday. At the crease, in South Asia, the team at times looked ill-prepared or unable to find the resolve or technical ability needed to put partnerships together at crucial times or cope with the India bowlers for any prolonged period.

Similar to its performance against Ireland last month, where they lost an ODI series against that opponent for the first time, the Windies looked, perhaps more than ever, susceptible to losing wickets in huge clusters, which made it impossible to chase even modest targets. In three matches, the team failed to reach 200 with its highest score of 193 coming in an all-out effort in the second match, in pursuit of 237 for 9.

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For the batsmen, it was Jason Holder who led the way with a modest 65 over three matches, followed by Nicholas Pooran with 61, while lower-order all-rounder Odean Smith had 60. By comparison, India’s top three featured Kuldeep Yadav who made 104 in three matches, Rishabh Pant made 85, while Shreyas Iyer made 80 in just one match. Overall, the India batting line-up, which chased a low target in the first match, outscored the West Indies line-up by 148 runs.

“This is difficult, the last six games have been difficult in this format. We started putting things together last year when we played Sri Lanka, it was difficult against Australia, but we started putting things together. For this (type of performance) to come now, it’s hard to take, it’s hard to take from the batsmen,” Simmons told members of the media on Thursday.

“It’s not outwardly showing, but it’s hurtful and the players know that. We have to make sure that we do the right things moving forward to get this batting line-up or whoever the batting line-up is to function as a batting line-up, to have big partnerships and assess the thing properly.”

The team’s highest partnership of the series was a 78 run seventh-wicket stand between Fabian Allen and Jason Holder. Overall, the majority of the team’s biggest partnerships came from batting places below the 5th wicket.

“The mode of dismissals is the biggest issue. If we are assessing the situation and we are playing according to the situation, and you get out then that’s execution. But not assessing the situation and knowing what you want to do in the situations and the modes of dismissal it’s hurtful, and it doesn’t make for good watching as we’ve seen. It’s something the players have to sit and get right as soon as possible. We can’t keep going like this.”



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