IPL players pumped and ready for series, says Simmons

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has given the assurance that the players arriving from the just-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) are highly motivated for the upcoming Tri-Nations Series starting here tomorrow.

20160602IPLCaptain Jason Holder, along with Kieron Pollard, Carlos Brathwaite, Sunil Narine only joined up with the squad recently, following their IPL stints for their respective franchises.

But despite the long campaign and the travel involved in flying back to the Caribbean from India, Simmons said the players were in fine spirits.

“They are fully raring to go. I can’t tell you they are fully recovered – that’s the physios and doctors’ areas but they are raring to go,” the Trinidadian said.

Of the four, all eyes will be on off-spinner Narine who will be displaying a remodelled action in the Caribbean for the first time. The right-armer was reported for having a suspected illegal action during the series against Sri Lanka last November and subsequently banned by the International Cricket Council and forced to undergo rehabilitation.

He missed West Indies’ Twenty20 World Cup triumph in India but was cleared to bowl again ahead of the IPL, where he gathered 11 wickets in as many games at an average of 27 and economy rate of seven, for Kolkata Knight Riders.

Simmons said Narine, along with left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn and off-spinner Ashley Nurse, were expected to play critical roles in the Tri-Nations.

“He’s important for West Indies in the fact he can get wickets in the middle as well as Sulieman Benn and Ashley Nurse,” Simmons pointed out.

“These are three guys who can get wickets in the middle and that’s what we need.”

The West Indies team spent the week putting the final touches on their preparation, following a week-long camp in Barbados where they played two warm-up matches against Barbados, losing both.

However, Simmons said the Windies also worked on tactical matters and were fine-tuning their approach to the upcoming games.

“We are working hard on trying to get as many singles as possible,” he noted.

“We are a team that doesn’t get as many singles as we would like to and it’s something we have worked hard on and are trying to improve in.

“Generally, we’ve been working on the whole thinking of the game and the whole assessment of the situation to make sure we do the right thing in that situation.”

West Indies play South Africa tomorrow at the Guyana National Stadium and take on Australia on Sunday at the same venue.

The tournament among the three sides runs from June 3-26 and will also be played in St Kitts and Barbados.

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