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Monday 27 January 2020
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Khan: WI played with brains

West Indies' Lendl Simmons, right, and Evin Lewis run between the wickets to score during the second Twenty20 international cricket match between India and West Indies on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. (AP Photo)
West Indies' Lendl Simmons, right, and Evin Lewis run between the wickets to score during the second Twenty20 international cricket match between India and West Indies on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. (AP Photo)

FORMER West Indies manager Omar Khan commended captain Kieron Pollard and the West Indies team for the strategies they used during the second T20 International against India that led to the regional team levelling the three-match series with an easy eight-wicket win in India, on Sunday.

India posted 170/7 batting first, before West Indies responded with 173/2 in 18.3 overs to set up an exciting decider on Wednesday.

Khan thought it was a solid all round effort , “The guys seemed to be getting it more consistently right and that’s important. It is good to see the bowlers restricting a strong, powerful India batting line up to 170...and then our batters really did well.”

Right-handed opener Lendl Simmons, along with a number of other contributions, guided West Indies to the win. “Good to see Lendl Simmons leading the way with responsibility and a mature innings which is something that we need to get from our more senior players. He has been around for quite a while and then young Nicholas Pooran proved his worth again with his explosive batting.” Simmons ended on 67 not out, Pooran cracked 38 not out, Shimron Hetmyer pitched in with 23 and Evin Lewis made 40.

Khan praised Pollard and the coaching staff for the leadership and strategies. He said it was intelligent on the part of West Indies to ensure the left-handers were sent to the middle to face leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja, a task that would have been more difficult for the right-handers in the line-up. The adjustments in the batting order also ensured it was a left-hand/right-hand partnership throughout the innings. Simmons batted throughout the innings and got ample support from the left-handed trio of Lewis, Hetmyer and Pooran.

“Pollard was also excellent in his captaincy in terms of rotating the batsmen and knowing what to do (and) sending in the left handers.”

On the strategy to send Hetmyer and Pooran ahead of right-handed Brandon King, Khan said, “It was a good strategy and a good strategic move by Pollard. It means that we are thinking, it means that the team is understanding more and more they can’t just play power hitting and blast out people, but it is all about using your brain and (playing) smart cricket in order for us to topple the big teams.”

The former West Indies manager is anticipating the series decider on Wednesday. “Clearly we have demonstrated that we could beat India and beating them at home is even a more confidence booster and should be moral boosting for the team and the guys should really now come out pumped up and ready to win the last game and win the series.”

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