ST. JOHN’S (Antigua): West Indies coach Phil Simmons feels the upcoming series against Sri Lanka will help the side to pick out the best XI for the T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in India later this year.
West Indies and Sri Lanka will lock horns with each other in a three-match T20I series which gets underway from Wednesday and coach Simmons wants to identify as to who is going to lead the respective batting and bowling attack as soon as possible.
“We need to start seeing how the make-up of our team goes. We need to make sure people are able to do the job that we want them to do, whether it is at the top of the batting order, the middle, or the end. And it is the same with bowling,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Simmons as saying.
“We’ve got to identify as soon as possible who’s going to bowl our new ball and who’s going to bowl at the death and so it starts from now,” he added.
West Indies are likely to face Australia in a T20I series in July and Simmons wants to have a perfect line-up ready for the fixtures ahead of the World Cup.
“So by the time we are playing Australia in some T20s in July, we must know who is our final 15 or 16 to go to the World Cup,” said Simmons.
Star batsman Chris Gayle and pacer Fidel Edwards will return to play for West Indies in the T20I series. Gayle will return to play for the first time in two years for the hosts while Edwards will take the field for West Indies after nine years.
“We see what Chris Gayle did in his last IPL stint. He shows that both with the bat and on the field, he looks fitter and feels better and he is still hitting the ball as we want to see him do it,” said Simmons.
“We’ve seen Fidel in the last CPL and we have seen that he can still muster over 90mph with his searing yorkers, both at the top end and at the back end of the innings, so it is great to have the two of them with us,” he added.
After the T20I series, West Indies will shift focus towards the 50-over format. The first ODI between Sri Lanka and West Indies will be played on March 10.