File picture of Ben Stokes (AFP Photo)SOUTHAMPTON: West Indies coach Phil Simmons believes the opening Test shall be a battle between two all-rounder captains wherein he expects Jason Holder to “get on top” of his England counterpart Ben Stokes.
Holder and Stokes, each top all-rounders, will lead their respective sides with the latter standing in for normal captain Joe Root who will miss the opening ‘bio-secure’ Test for the start of his second youngster.
The three-Test sequence begins with the opening match on the Ageas Bowl right here on Wednesday.
“I think that it’s going to be a toss-up between these two all-rounders and hopefully Jason can do what’s necessary to get on top of Ben in this first Test,” Simmons advised reporters on the eve of the opening Test.
“Ben is one of them who leads from the front. That’s been shown by all his exploits before in cricket, (so) we will have to make sure that we get onto him very early, because he likes to do what is necessary for his team.”
The 57-year-old additionally does not essentially see Root’s absence as a bonus.
“You have to be careful how you use an advantage because, with Root not being there, you have some youngster who wants to make a name for himself.
“And typically that is even more durable than the gamers , so that you have to be very cautious about saying that it is a bonus,” he said.
Simmons said Stokes’ lack of experience as a captain won’t be an issue, with veterans like James Anderson and Stuart Broad to turn to for suggestions.
“Ben has not had that point (as captain) however they’ve had a profitable group for some time, and that helps,” he added.
“With the expertise that he has behind him – Jimmy (Anderson) and Broad and folks like that, there’s quite a bit of expertise to assist him on the sector if he comes a cropper. But it is onerous to actually say if that is a giant benefit.”
Simmons also said he is not worried about his batting unit as they will have to produce the goods in all three facets of the game to outwit England at home.
Batting is often considered to be the weak point of the West Indies team, which had lost the opening Test against England in Birmingham by an innings and 209 runs during their last tour in 2017 due to batting failure.
Simmons said the batsmen have prepared well and it is all about mindset now.
“I’m not involved concerning the batting. The batsmen have labored very onerous on getting to the place they’re now, and all that it takes now’s for his or her mindset to be proper for the Test match,” Simmons said.
“We preserve speaking concerning the batting, and the bowling has been robust, however we should subject properly and catch properly additionally to give ourselves that probability. Our body of thoughts is that we have to play properly in all three aspects of the sport so as to beat England.”
The three-Test sequence will mark the resumption of worldwide cricket following the coronavirus hiatus.