Will West Indies combat Sri Lanka spin attack in T20 decider?
After the first two matches in this T20 series between Sri Lanka and the West Indies, being played at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua, the Sri Lankan spinners have taken 14 wickets among themselves. In the third and final T20, which is the series decider, set for today, Sunday March 7, from 18:00h, combating the spin would be an area of focus for the West Indies.
On the eve of the match, West Indies Head Coach Phil Simmons has said his team would be aiming to reduce the number of dot balls and continue that good boundary rate. While the Sri Lanka spinners have been having a grand time in this series thus far, the West Indies spinners have taken only two wickets between themselves.
In addition to Kevin Sinclair and Fabian Allen, the other spinner in the squad is Akeal Hosein. When asked if Hosein would be added to the starting XI, Simmons said: “there is always thought, but it’s more how we negotiate and score runs against the Sri Lankan spinners. I think that is more important, because the bowlers have done an excellent job,” Simmons explained.
He added that key for the West Indies to combat the Sri Lankan spinners is their looking to score and play cricket in the positive West Indian way. The Head Coach praised the bowlers’ performances thus far in the two games, with Dwayne Bravo and Obed McCoy leading the way with three wickets each.
With captain Kieron Pollard disclosing in a recent media conference that there is need for consistency in selection, Simmons has said that would be considered on a regular basis, and the selection panel will remain consistent.
This West Indies team is filled with power hitters, and the Head Coach does not see the need to assign an individual to anchor the innings in this format. He believes that everyone in the team has the ability to play that ‘anchor’ role if needed, and the players are aware of the need to take responsibility.
The T20 series is certainly an indifferent one for Chris Gayle, who is batting at number three for the first time in his International career, despite playing that role in recent franchise cricket.
“That is something we will discuss, but that is where he has done well for Punjab, so we are going to see and discuss and know what we will be doing,” Simmons has posited.
Sri Lanka have gotten off the mark, and they will be high on confidence, especially the spin group. The middle-order for the Sri Lankans will be aiming to come good in this final T20 in Antigua. (Brandon Corlette)