BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Head coach Phil Simmons has cautioned West Indies against relying on their Twenty20 series win for motivation in the three-match One-Day International rubber against Australia starting Tuesday, stressing that critical adjustments needed to be made in order to be successful in the longer format.
The Caribbean side dominated the visitors in a 4-1 series victory in St Lucia and will renew rivalries at Kensington Oval over the next week against opponents ranked number three in the world, five spots above them.
“I think because they are a number of players from the T20 squad, there is some momentum that can be taken over but again, because it’s a different format we have other guys coming in and we have to settle and play the way this format needs to be played,” Simmons said on Sunday.
“There has to be a lot more partnerships, a lot bigger partnerships and other things like that. But there can be a little bit of momentum because of the number of players crossing the formats.”
West Indies have not faced the Aussies in a bilateral ODI series in eight years, following their 5-0 drubbing Down Under.
In fact, the Caribbean side have not beaten Australia in an bilateral ODI series in 26 years, and have won only three of their last 15 matches against the five-time World champions.
However, Simmons said he was buoyed by the sense of unity in the Windes camp, which was driven by the “hunger and willingness to win cricket matches for West Indies cricket”.
“At the start of the Sri Lanka series [in March], we had a chat among all the players and the main thing we had to understand was that we had to play cricket together for West Indies cricket,” Simmons explained.
“We had some honest conversations among ourselves before the South Africa series and that’s what we’ve been looking at. We’re making sure that when we go out there to represent West Indies, we continually put them on the map because of our quality.
“We’re not going to win every game but the quality that we put when we’re on the field, is going to highlight West Indies cricket. That’s where the unity is coming from.”
West Indies welcome back prolific ODI right-hander Shai Hope who notched scores of 110, 84 and 64 in the three-match series against Sri Lanka earlier this year.
Left-handers Darren Bravo and Evin Lewis, who featured in the T20 series, also chipped in with hundreds during the Sri Lanka ODI series, leaving Simmons hopeful about big totals in the coming matches.
“It’s been great. In the last series, the top three all got hundreds and what we’re asking of them now is that one of the top three carry on until the end so that we get to that [total] of 320, 330,” he said.
“Once we continue with that now, we’re going to put that in place, we’re going to get that 300-plus.”