Two days ahead of the series opener against India, West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has said that batting out 50 overs is their top priority as they look to rebuild for the 2023 ODI World Cup. Simmons has also reckoned one of their batters must score a hundred against India to hold the team.
The three-match ODI series between West Indies and India will get underway on July 22 at Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain. While West Indies will be playing with a full-fledged squad, India will have a second-string roster in the ODI leg with Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, and Hardik Pandya among the notable absentees. Still, West Indies head coach Phil Simmons believes that they need to stage an impressive show together, especially batting-wise, for positive results.
"The main thing is how we bat our 50 overs…we have to bat 50 overs and put our innings together and partnerships together. Somebody has to be looking to score a hundred and hold the team together. Batting-wise that is it," Simmons told the reporters at the pre-match conference two days ahead of the first ODI against India.
However, Simmons does not seem to be worried about their fielding and bowling department.
"The bowling and the fielding has been improving daily. We rank ourselves very highly on the fielding. The bowling, we had a couple of games on those wickets where people might say we should've gotten more wickets but the wicket got better every time we fielded because they had put out the second roller on it and it had dried out from earlier in the day," Simmons added.
"So, the bowlers have been doing well and we have to continue restricting and getting wickets - that's the only way we can keep totals low and continue to win games."
Since the 2019 World Cup, West Indies have batted full 50 overs just six times in 39 innings, and have endured nine defeats from their 13 ODI series since that tournament,
Notably, all three ODI matches will be played at the same venue in Port of Spain.