Simmons views South Africa series as another rehearsal for World Cup T20 defence
West Indies head coach Phil Simmons
West Indies head coach Phil Simmons

WEST Indies face South Africa in five Twenty20 Internationals from tomorrow in Grenada and it is the start of a minimum of 15 T20I matches before the October-November World T20, currently scheduled for India.
The road to their title defence has started brightly with a 2-1 series success over Sri Lanka in March and with several of the seasoned T20 players set to feature for West Indies, head coach Phil Simmons wants the players to understand this is all a part of the preparation for the global event.

“I think it is just our preparation and our understanding that we are heading into a World Cup and we got to start playing cricket the way we want to play in the World Cup and South Africa is our first test for that since they have a very strong T20 set up,” the coach expressed at a recent media interaction.
Unlike the Test series where West Indies were ranked sixth, just ahead of South Africa, there is a bigger gulf with the two sides in the shortest format. South Africa are ranked sixth and the World T20 defending champions are tenth.

“From an execution standpoint, we are looking for players to do the things they do normally in a T20 game and we have so many players that play T20 cricket all around the world, so the skills are there. It is about coming together as a team and performing our skills individually.”
The two sides who played the first match at the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, have contrasting fortunes of recent.

While West Indies are entering the series on a high, the Proteas have lost their last four T20I series.
After South Africa, West Indies are set to play Australia and Pakistan at home in the five-match T20I series.
West Indies T20I squad: Kieron Pollard (capt.), Nicholas Pooran (wkp.), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Fidel Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr.


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