WI vs PAK | West Indies need to improve their batting ahead of Pakistan Tests, admits Phil Simmons

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has stated that his side needs to improve on the batting front ahead of their two-match home Test series against Pakistan, beginning August 12. He further labelled the hosts as ‘underdogs’ in their first assignment of the World Test Championship cycle.

West Indies’ last Test-series win on home soil came back in 2018/2019, a 2-1 victory over England. They were white-washed in two of the three series since then, against India last year and against South Africa two months ago, having drawn against Sri Lanka earlier this year.

Their 2-0 win in Bangladesh has been the lone bright spot in the last three years, with the inconsistent batting being a feature of their struggles.

Phil Simmons, the head coach, has pointed out that the hosts need to improve on that front, as their World Test Championship campaign kick starts with a two-match Test series against Pakistan later this week.

“It’s the start of a new series and we’re trying to make sure things improve this cycle,” Simmons said in a press-conference. “But there’s no hiding from the fact that our batting needs to improve and get to a healthy stage where we can get to 400 in an innings on a consistent basis.”

Pakistan had secured a 2-1 series win on their last trip, back in 2017, which was their first ever Test series victory in the Carribean. The Windies, meanwhile, have had a long limited-overs streak, against Australia and Pakistan, having played their last Test in early June. The hosts might therefore find it difficult to cope up with the sudden shift across formats.

Simmons expressed his disappointment over the lack of red-ball practice in the lead up to the upcoming series.

“There’s not enough work done before the players got here,” he stated. “A lot of the players said they didn’t get any work done in their home territories before this camp and the four-day game. It’s disappointing to find out there’s nothing done and we have to start from scratch here. Yes, it definitely is.”

Simmons, who represented West Indies in 26 Tests and 143 ODIs, labelled his side as ‘underdogs’, against the fifth-ranked Test outfit.

“I think even though we’re at home we’re a little bit of an underdog, but we’re going to put everything into it to try and make sure we come out on top,” said the 58-year-old.

“We’ve always had tough battles with any Pakistan team that comes to the Caribbean,” he added. “They’ve played very well in their last two Test series and are coming in on a high. We didn’t play quite as well in our last series [against South Africa] so it’s going to be tough.”

The first of the two Tests will be played at the Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica, beginning Thursday, August 12.

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