The decline of the West Indies as a test side has been among the saddest tales the game has ever witnessed. The once dominant side in the 1980’s, which struck fear into the hearts of the opponents, has been now reduced to a mere laughing stock, owing to some serious administrative issues. Their recent test series against India was no different, as they struggled and eventually lost the 4 match series 2-0.
Post the series, coach Phil Simmons admitted that he was a worried individual. The former West Indies player admitted that the gap between the skills needed at first class level and test level had widened colossally. From the T20I point of view, West Indies are the world champions, but in tests, it’s been a shambolic tale.
“I think the series was a little bit too up-and-down,” Simmons said. “We played well across maybe two hours, three hours sometimes, and the next two hours we would be down. And I think that was, for me, the major disappointment. We’ve shown that we can do things but not consistently enough. We batted well in Jamaica, but we went and did the same things we did in the first test in the third Test. It’s disappointing that we weren’t consistent enough.”
Simmons added that some of his suggestions to the cricket board were just unheard by the senior officials. “There’s a lot of things that I have asked for, and it’s not coming to fruition,” he added. “I’ve asked for coaches to meet twice, maybe three times a year, and discuss cricket and so on. We need to make sure that whatever we’re doing upstairs is going down to everybody. “You and I might be two coaches and might coach differently but the same objective we have to have. If we don’t have the same objective, then we spin it up in muddles. I think that’s lacking. It’s quite a few things to be fixed, but at the end of the day the quality of cricket that is downstairs is not good enough for the maturity of the players to be quicker.”
While speaking about West Indies’ next test assignment in the UAE, Simmons mentioned that need to reach early, in order to get used to the conditions. “I don’t know about an extended camp because you just played four Test matches, well three-and-a-quarter Test matches, back-to-back, and we underestimate the power of rest after Test matches, but we also have two T20s We also have a one-day squad and T20 squad for the first part of the Pakistan series.”
“So from the point of view of being together, we’re trying to get the Test team to the UAE early enough, so that we can have enough practice time before the first two-day game. And this is something that I keep trying to get when we go on tour because I think it’s harder on tour. If we get two, sometimes three practice games before the first Test match, then that would be ideal,” Simmons concluded.