Intensity key for Sri Lanka tour, says Windies Coach

Head Coach Phil Simmons wants to see West Indies display the same level of intensity on the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka, which they used to good effect on the tour of the subcontinent last year.

Last November the Caribbean side swept Afghanistan 3-0 in a one-day series played in Lucknow, a city in northern India, before losing the subsequent Twenty20 series 2-1.

Pitted against India weeks later, West Indies comprehensively beat the powerhouses in the opening ODI in Chennai before losing the remaining games to surrender the series 2-1.

The Windies also pushed India in the T20 series, winning the second game in Thiruvananthapuram but losing the series also by a 2-1 margin.

“I think the important thing in this series is for us to adjust quickly to the conditions — that’s why we are going there a few days early,” Simmons said.

“How we played in Lucknow against Afghanistan — that’s the sort of wicket we’ll be getting there [in Sri Lanka] and we have to play in the same way. We have to train in the same way, we need to prepare [in the same way] and [have] the same attitude we went there [India] with.

“It was the same way we played against India and I think if we can get that attitude right, we can come out of this series on top.”

West Indies selectors on Monday announced a 15-man squad for the ODI phase of the series, with left-handed strokemakers Shimron Hetmyer and Evin Lewis left out on fitness grounds.

The side will be led by all-rounder Kieron Pollard and sees the recall of experienced left-hander Darren Bravo, all-rounder Rovman Powell, and fit again left-arm spinner Fabian Allen.

Chief selector Roger Harper said he expected the side would use the recent gains made to carve out positive results against Sri Lanka.

“I look forward to the team building on its recent performances against Afghanistan and India in the subcontinent and against Ireland at home – playing consistent, smart cricket to win the series,” Harper said.

“Sri Lanka are a very good team in their own conditions. I do not expect it to be easy but our team has shown that it is very capable. These are the series we will have to win in order to move up the rankings.”

West Indies have never won an ODI series in Sri Lanka and suffered a 3-0 whitewash on their last tour there four years ago. (Courtesy Jamaica Observer)

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