West Indies head coach Phil Simmons says his players are focused ahead of the first Test against Australia starting tomorrow in Dominica.
Speaking to the media during the regional side’s training session in Dominica, yesterday, Simmons said the energy in the camp was very high and that he has gotten everything that he has asked from his players.
“We had a five-day camp in Barbados and the energy has been there,” he told the media yesterday.
Asked if the dropping of veteran batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul from the Test team was a distraction for his players, Simmons said: “I don’t think the team has been distracted.”
“I think we came yesterday (Sunday) and they looked like they wanted to practice and it will be the same thing tomorrow (today). I think it is about the team and we have to make sure we are ready as a team for the Test match on Wednesday,” the coach added.
Simmons is also looking for improvement from his players in the upcoming two-Test series noting that preparation is the key
“We are always confident. For me once we prepare properly, which we did against England and we are continuing now, you have to be confident about what the team can do,” said Simmons.
“We need to improve because it is Australia, no disrespect to England. We have been trying to do that as much as possible. It is about getting the young players to understand what their role is and what they need to do to make this team successful. I have gotten everything I have asked of them,” the Windies coach explained.
Asked if he was able to take to the West Indies players who were playing in the Indian Premier League, Simmons said: “I have not had a chance to chat with anyone.”
He explained that he would prefer to chat with the players face to face and said that would happen during the Caribbean Premier League which bowls off later this month.
However Simmons noted: “When you talk to players, they need to know what they want and where they want to be.”
In terms of the final squad for the first Test, Simmons said he would wait until today before they make the call.