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Borde: Simmons vying for WI return

By STEPHON NICHOLAS Saturday, June 29 2013

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COLIN Borde, manager of the West Indies “A” team, believes opening batsman Lendl Simmons is ready for a return to the Windies team after impressing in the recently concluded Twenty20 and one-day series against Sri Lanka “A”.

Simmons stroked an unbeaten 51 in the only T20 and was the second highest scorer in the three one-dayers. He totalled 146 runs from three innings including a majestic knock of 106 runs in the first match.

Speaking to Newsday yesterday, Borde hailed Simmons’ performance and noted that he expects to see him get back on the regional senior team soon.

“It’s very gratifying to see Lendl vying for a place on the senior team. Lendl is a player of immense ability and he is very versatile. He will be back on the West Indies team if he continues like this. Lendl is always committed to wanting to play at the highest level. He has an array of shots and great temperament,” Borde remarked.

The former “Red Force” manager noted, though, that the 28-year-old Simmons should have cemented his spot on the West Indies team by now but believes he still has time on his side.

“He’s still young and has a bright future ahead. His last series was good but international cricket is very competitive. With (Chris) Gayle there at the top, there are about three players knocking on the door (for that other opening spot) so it’s not easy. He just needs to show a little more consistency,” Borde explained.

Commenting on the future of pacer Shannon Gabriel, the Windies “A” manager showered the young fast bowler with praise after his decisive performance in the last match. Gabriel was at his fiery best on Thursday, setting up a 67-run victory with a devastating opening spell in the third one-dayer that swung the series in favour of the home team.

The burly 25-year-old rocked Sri Lanka with a pacy spell that left the visitors reeling at 25 for four chasing 197 for victory. Sri Lanka ended up folding for just 129 with Gabriel claiming impressive figures of three wickets for 14 runs from seven overs.

“Shannon, after that break from international cricket following his Test debut in England, is now coming back and finding himself after getting injured. He’s bowling quickly and quite intelligently. He’s young, a genuine fast bowler and provides an option in terms of having a four- pronged pace attack.

“I’m happy to see him back but he needs to show more patience when he’s bowling. He doesn’t need to bowl faster, just put the ball in the right areas consistently,” he pointed out.

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