Feb. 19, 2020, 4:43 p.m.
It was lights, cameras and soon time for action as the West Indies get ready for “showtime” on the tour of Sri Lanka. Head Coach Phil Simmons and captain Kieron Pollard had “meet the press” as the series organisers and sponsors staged the official unveiling of the trophy, with confetti and a bit of razzmatazz as part of the event.
The two teams are closely locked on points in the ICC One-Day International rankings. West Indies occupy ninth spot on 80 points while Sri Lanka are one place ahead in eighth with 81 points.
With the first ODI just three days away, Simmons said it’s time to get down to business. The match will be played at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo. First ball is 9:30 am (12 midnight Eastern Caribbean/11:00pm Friday Jamaica). West Indies will look to build on the good work started late last year in the subcontinent and carried on against Ireland at home last month.
Pollard, who is entering his third series as skipper since taking over last November, believes his team is good enough to win the three-match rubber and move ahead of the hosts in the rankings.
“The squad has done a significant amount of work between the World Cup and this point. I think we proved in the Ireland series that we are a level above and we are now eager to see what the team can do against a more evenly matched opponent, in relation to standings. Hopefully, at the end of the day, the team that plays the best and most consistent cricket will come out on top,” the 32-year-old allrounder said.
One area to be monitored closely is the bowling in the middle overs, Simmons added.
“As long as we have visibly improved, we will be happy at the end of the series. However, based on what we would’ve shown against India, I think an improved performance would see us coming out as winners. We have placed specific focus on improving our bowling, which I think we have been able to achieve and we are eager to test that theory against a strong Sri Lanka team,” Simmons said.
SQUAD: Kieron Pollard (captain), Shai Hope (vice captain), Fabian Allen, Sunil Ambris, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Romario Shepherd, Hayden Walsh Jr.
Click HERE for Match Start times