Simmons confident West Indies will be ready

Phil Simmons West Indies head coach

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons believes his players will be ready to take on the Black Caps in a T20I series in New Zealand despite a lengthy period of isolation in the lead up to the first match.

While the majority of the squad is already in New Zealand, six members of the squad are still at large and will only arrive in the country this week, such as Kieron Pollard after the conclusion of the Indian Premier League.

West Indies Squad arriving in stages

The major issue this is going to cause is that the six players arriving later will not be finished their two weeks of managed isolation to combat the potential spread of Covid-19 at the same time as the rest of the squad.

However, Simmons is not too concerned and is confident the match sharpness from playing in a high-level competition such as the IPL will not dissipate over two weeks.

“It’s a little bit difficult this time because when the main T20 guys get here they are in isolation until the first game,” he said. “But the plus about that is that they are coming from playing in a high-quality tournament so they will be sharp.

“The guys that are with us, we have to get them up to that level so when we meet on [November 27] as a full squad everyone is on the same page.”

“We are going to try and continue how we planned the preparation,” he said. “In this series especially there are a few guys who weren’t in that team in Sri Lanka and they will be trying to push themselves into the final 15 next year because we are missing the two main allrounders.

“At this point, you have quite a few players trying to understand how exactly they fit into the line-up and that’s what the build-up is now – if you are on the bench you know exactly what you have to do and if you are in the XI you know what you have to do.”

Looking ahead to the Tests

Turning his attention to the Test series after the T20Is, Simmons admitted they have a much better chance of success in the shorter format of the game.

“We are trying to continue to build. We have to take that Southampton performance and see what the points are that we need to work on to better that,” he said.

“It’s very difficult to beat teams [at their] home now and we need to play the best cricket we can in any Test to beat teams high up the table, of which New Zealand is one of them.”