Kraigg Brathwaite wants Phil Simmons to get a good send-off in his last series as West Indies coach.
Speaking to the media yesterday ahead of his side’s opening practice match on their short Test match tour of Australia, an upbeat Brathwaite praised the work Simmons has done with the red-ball team.
“He’s done a fantastic job as the coach in terms of certain things he brought to the group, Brathwaite said. The West Indies captain also had a wish for the out-going Simmons. “It’s his last series, so we looking to give him ten solid days of Test cricket and to make him and West Indies fans proud.”
Last month, Simmons, in his second stint as coach of the Caribbean side, announced he was leaving the job following the Windies’ shock elimination at the preliminary phase of the just-concluded T20 World Cup “Down Under”. The early exit followed the Windies’ swift departure from the 2021 World T20 tournament in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
However, Brathwaite stressed yesterday: “I think he did a fantastic job as a coach. He obviously went through some tough times, like every coach but we look forward to his last ten days as coach and as a team we look to gel together and make the Caribbean proud.”
Concerning the change at the top of the order following John Campbell’s four-year ban for an anti-doping whereabouts infraction, Brathwaite said he had no worries about going to the middle with new opening partner Tagenarine Chanderpaul, playing in his first international series.
Asked about the similarity in styles between himself and left-hander Chanderpaul, Brathwaite said: “I think the partnership will work extremely well.
“I’ve seen him play first-class for a little while; always impressed with the time he spent… I could see us doing good things together… I think everything is gonna be good, everything is gonna be smooth. I really look forward to the combination of me and him batting together.”
West Indies have not beaten Australia away from home since the 1992-93 series. And asked also about this tour coming after the failure of the T20 squad Brathwaite said he felt no pressure for this assignment.
“This is a completely different format,” he noted. “We’ve had a good year thus far playing Test cricket and we focus our energies on playing good Test cricket… We know what we have to do in terms of preparation and that’s what we are focussing our energies on.”
The WI skipper said taking, “every day as serious as possible (with) regard toward the Test series,” would be crucial for his side in their two warm-up matches.
He added: “We know the bowlers we are going to play against, we know the batsmen. I think from now it’s just to create that plan in terms of a mindset how we want to go about playing against these guys. So we will use these two games to do just that.“
West Indies face and the ACT New South Wales XI in Canberra in a three-day, warm-up match, starting tomorrow night T&T time. They will pay their second and final warm-up next week, also in Canberra. However, that will be a day/night fixture. The first Test is scheduled for Perth on November 29.
West Indies squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (Captain), Jermaine Blackwood (Vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Shamarh Brooks, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Anderson Phillip, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, Devon Thomas