GROS ISLET (St. Lucia): West Indies head coach Phil Simmons aims to lead the team to a first-ever Test series win against South Africa with his improved tempo attack when the teams start the first of two games in St. Lucia on Thursday.
The playing surface at Daren Sammy Cricket Ground looks like it will please the sailors, which is a strength of both sides and, according to Simmons, gives his team the best chance of bowling the tourists twice.
“The improvement I want to see for this series is our ability to take 20 wickets,” he told reporters on Monday. “We made helpful pitches in Bangladesh and when the pitch in Antigua wasn’t helpful [against Pakistan], we fought.
“Our almost bowling department has been strong for a long time. It is they who kept us in games and kicked teams out when it didn’t seem likely. ”
South Africa is a team in upheaval that has lost a number of older players into retirement in recent years, especially in the batting department. But former West India all-rounder Simmons has warned his side not to be complacent.
“Every team you meet has to look for where you can take advantage of it. You are very strong at the helm with the captain [Dean Elgar] and then later the order with types like [Quinton] the rooster.
“We have to improve and be 100 percent better than in our last game. We are up to six [in the Test rankings] and that’s just the beginning of things. We want to be at the top and have to play as if we want to be there. ”
West Indies have only won three of their 28 Tests against South Africa, the last win in 2007. This is the first time since 2015 that they have met in a longer format.
Posted in Dawn, June 9, 2021