WEST Indies head coach Phil Simmons does not believe the performance of the T20 team will affect the Test team when the regional team’s two-match Test series against New Zealand bowls off at 6 pm on Wednesday, TT time.
West Indies lost the three-match T20 series 2-0 against New Zealand as the third and final match was abandoned because of rain.
West Indies will aim to rebound in the Test series. The first Test will be played at Hamilton, followed by the second Test at Wellington from December 10.
Speaking to Cricket West Indies on the eve of the opening Test match, Simmons was optimistic the format change will mean a change in fortune.
“I hope so…the Test team is in a good place and I don’t think that the results of the T20 will affect the way they think and the way they prepare.”
The last series the West Indies team played was against England in July, which the regional team lost 2-1.
West Indies, captained by Jason Holder, have all their players available with the return of batting duo Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer and all-rounder Keemo Paul.
The trio chose not to tour England because of covid19 safety concerns.
In the first practice match of the New Zealand tour, Bravo led the way with 135 and in the second match opener Kraigg Brathwaite hit 246.
The batsmen who cracked half-centuries during the warm-up matches were Shamarh Brooks (80), Bravo (93) and Jermaine Blackwood (53). Other scores of note during the warm-up matches were John Campbell (45), Raymon Reifer (46), Brathwaite (47) and Roston Chase (42).
Simmons said the Test players are positive, especially with the batsmen posting formidable totals in the warm-up matches.
“The T20s and the Tests are different. The Test team has done well in Queenstown having enjoyed a tough four-day game and now they are coming into the Test series with some confidence, especially with the batsmen who we have not had that for a while. I think the Test team is in a good place…disappointed with the T20s, but we are on to the Test series now.”
The first warm-up match was a three-day contest, which was followed by a four-day match. Both matches against New Zealand A ended in draws.
The Windies coach said the goal is always to emerge victorious in a series.
“Your aim is always to do well, your aim is always to win cricket matches and I think that is our aim in both the CWI XI games and the Test matches. Our aim is to win, to play cricket so that we can win each game.”
During the Test series, a West Indies A team will face New Zealand A in two four-day matches.
Concerning the Test championship, Simmons said, “It is extremely significant. It’s a format that we have not done well in for a long time and we are trying to get ourselves back into the higher ends of the table where Test cricket is concerned and because of that initially we want to do well in the Test championship, but at the same time we want to be winners in Test cricket itself, so it is important for us.”
The Test Championship is a league format played from 2019 to 2021 featuring the top nine teams in the world. West Indies are currently seventh on the standings.