Simmons impressed by Brathwaite and Hope

Head coach of the West Indies, Phil Simmons sees great potential in Shai Hope and Carlos Brathwaite.
Head coach of the West Indies, Phil Simmons sees great potential in Shai Hope and Carlos Brathwaite.

New coach of the West Indies, Phil Simmons has expressed his excitement at the pool of talent available in the Caribbean.

And he seems especially pleased with what he has seen in uncapped Barbadians Carlos Brathwaite and Shai Hope.

Brathwaite, a towering fast bowler and Hope a wicketkeeper/batsman have been named in the West Indies squad for the first Test against England starting tomorrow.

When asked about the fresh bloods in the team, Simmons seemed visibly impressed with both newcomers.

“I think young Hope is technically sound and to score a double-century in any form of the game you’ve got to bat for a long period of time,” Simmons said of the 21-year-old Hope, who showed great temperament and resilience during his double-hundred for Barbados in domestic cricket last month as well as another during a practice game.


Barbadians Shai Hope (left) and Carlos Brathwaite are in the 14-man West Indies squad to face England in the first Test tomorrow.

“He showed that in the practice match that he can bat for a long period of time. That’s a big thing with young cricketers now [because] some of them just want to go out and play their shots from the start.”

Brathwaite, 26, who had a strong first-class season also won laurels from the West Indies coach who singled out the former’s big-match temperament as the biggest quality.

“Young Brathwaite just bowled like a Test bowler, an international bowler in the practice match we had. So these are good things to see,” he added.

When questioned about his advice to youngsters as a coach, Simmons was sharp and to the point with his methodology of work.

“The philosophy for me is that you practice hard and play easy. We have to be doing things in practice that will make it easier for us on the field.”

Simmons took over as the West Indies coach last month after an eight-year stint with the Ireland team that made remarkable progress under his coaching.

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