Mr. Simmons Change Course!! – by a contributor

7th June 2015

Patrolling the Boundary  – a view from the outfield

Before I write a word let me be clear. This is not a great Australian team, but it is very good. Importantly, it’s well led by Michael Clarke.

WI were never going to draw or win this series, but we could try to compete and play hard for as long as possible. Maybe like the England series a couple of young players would show promising performances. I think that was the best fans could have hoped for as we move forward with a correct policy of youth and rebuilding.

We have started this series with muddled thinking and as such I am directing my comments to the coach Phil Simmons who has started very well on his tough assignment.

Sir, I don’t understand how you can pick a WK/batsman who bats no higher than number 6 for Barbados, and batted at 5 for the President’s XI, and put him to bat at 4 against possibly the best team in the world on debut.

Surely, the experienced Samuels, or even Blackwood who bats at 3 for Jamaica, were seemed better suited to the role?

In addition, you pick a specialist opener but decide to leave him out and pick a makeshift opener.

Hope is 21 years old, and had his first break-out season. This is definitely not the way to introduce two young players to Test cricket.

Change course, sir!!

Recall what happened to Joe Root. He made a double century and England, who had a similar problem in finding an opener for Cook, promoted Root to open and he struggled badly. I recall Boycott saying at the time Root did not yet have the footwork to play the new ball.

Free Hope of his burden. He has talent, no doubt, but let him in time come into the middle order.

I don’t know what else anyone can say about Denesh Ramdin as a captain. He is just poor! Unfortunately there is no other way to express it. His tactical errors and especially his bowling changes are mind boggling even for a simple fan like myself.

He has a 4-man attack with Jason Holder his most accurate bowler and first change. Holder and Bishoo partner well, as Holder bottles runs and forces the batsmen to attack Bishoo, looking for runs. They did it well on day 1 and contributed to the dismissal of Clarke.

Ramdin bowled Holder for 3 overs in the first session on Day 2. He did not allow Taylor enough time for refreshing himself, so over bowled Taylor (and certainly Samuels), and under bowled Holder. He has made similar confusing choices against NZ, SA, England and now Australia.

He simply cannot stay in the job as skipper, as with his long first-class experience as skipper at age 30, if he does not get the basics right by now it’s time to give it to a younger man to develop into the role – Jason Holder for our tours of Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.

Ramdin averages a paltry 22 as skipper and overall a modest 26. Well, if the selectors feel Dowrich is good enough to make the team as a specialist batsman and debut at 4 then he certainly has more to recommend him as a batsman.

For the Zimbabwe series return Dowrich to his favored number 6, and drop Ramdin whose numbers are poor. This would allow us to get that vital 5th bowler our attack needs.

Carlos Braithwaite had a fine President’s XI match displaying his all-round ability. Maybe Holder at 7 and Carlos at 8, leaving space for two new-ball bowlers and Bishoo. This is a far better balance. For the tour of Sri Lanka it will allow us to play two spinners by dropping a specialist quick but retain 3 pacers.

Finally, Mr. Pybus and yourself I suggest need to reflect on your technical staff.

Mr. Ambrose’s mentoring of the bowlers seems to be paying off in terms of their improvement in discipline, patience and skill – but I feel we need more accomplished assistant coaches than those we currently have.

These young men need more time in first-class cricket to develop their skills and experience.

A developing team like ours would benefit from world-class assistance from a established Test Match batsman who is a good communicator, and a quality specialist fielding coach.

In addition, we do not need an ‘old style’ full-time Manager when we have a Head Coach. What we need is a person skilled in logistics and administration to look after the team’s needs.

Your staff looks in dire need of a revamp.

I appreciate you started just before the England tour so did not want to come in moving people all over the place. That was a sound decision. Equally so, after this series it’s time to put your signature on the team and staff and move us forward.

I hope you find these few suggestions helpful.

Good luck – you have all our support!!


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