REINSTATED West Indies head coach, Phil Simmons, is optimistic his team will do well in the limited overs series against India starting on Friday, in Hyderabad, as he doesn’t believe the gap between both teams is as big as many make it out to be. Simmons believes that following the Caribbean outfit’s tour of India a year ago, despite some poor results, they have fortified enough to catch up with three Twenty20 (T20) matches and three One-Day Internationals (ODI) looming.
“Last year, we had some T20s and ODIs in India and we weren’t miles apart. We had one game where I think we were tied. So we weren’t that far apart,” he said to ESPNCricinfo. The West Indies were whitewashed in the two-match Test series and lost the One-Dayers by a 3-1 margin with one other game being tied. The three T20 games also went India’s way but on the heels of another exciting Caribbean Premier League and the emergence of players such as Hayden Walsh Jr and Brandon King, the coach is cautiously confident. “We have to look back at what we did then and see how much we can add to that now because they (India) have added things to their games. We have to make sure that we have to get better than last time because India is not easy. India is India,” Simmons added.
“He mentioned their pacers, namely Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav, as threats to his team, but most of all, the x-factor would indeed be Virat Kohli, widely regarded as the best batsman of the decade.
Simmons did have a few comical ideas how to get Kohli out, though. “One, I can make him bat with a stump. Two, we can sign a book and in the ODIs, we can give him a 100 and bowl at the rest of the players.
Or we can make sure that our plans to him are spot on,” he said, the latter being a more serious note. “We can make sure that the bowlers don’t get too scared of him,” Simmons continued.
However, Simmons had one final joke regarding the intimidating shadow Kohli cast in the wicket, seen this year in the Caribbean when India failed to lose a match across the T20, ODI and Test formats. “But in the end, may be two can bowl at him at the same time. You never know what can happen but it’s a difficult proposition to get Virat Kohli out,” he concluded, fiddling with various ideas how to send Kohli back to the dugout early.