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Australia-West Indies Series

Simmons wants more top-order improvement ahead of Australia ODIs


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West Indies head coach Phil Simmons is hoping for another boost in the West Indies batting order as they are set to play Australia in a three-match ODI series.

They put in three solid performances batting second to beat Sri Lanka 3-0 earlier this year, but Simmons wants the batting order to show they can go past 300.

"We are looking for the way we batted to continue and improvements have to be made in the middle overs from 20-39 in order for us to get from 280-290 to the 320-330 we'll need against Australia. We've been discussing that since the Sri Lanka series so now it's time to put it into action,” said Simmons.

"It's been great [that] in the last series the top three all got hundreds and what we are asking of them now is one of the top three carry on until the end so we get to that 320-330," Simmons said.

The West Indies began the three-match ODI series being in ninth in the Super League standings, needing a rapid climb to guarantee straight qualifying for the 2023 World Cup. However, after defeating Australia  4-1 in the recent T20Is the attitude in the camp is cautious optimism.

"That's the only motivation you need, it's points and it's leading to World Cup 2023. The Australians are not going to be an easy target and they will be coming stronger after losing the T20 series. Because there are some players from the T20 squad in this one some momentum can be taken over but there are other guys coming in. We have to settle and play the way this format needs to be played. A lot more partnerships, bigger partnerships, things like that,"

Simmons highlighted the match-winners of the T20 series against Australia in which West Indies rebounded admirably following their loss to South Africa.

"The good thing about this series is that in different games different people came out as the ones leading. Dre [Russell] finished the first game, [Dwayne] Bravo took the mantle when he went up to bat, [Shimron] Hetymer had it, Chris [Gayle] had it in one game, [Sheldon] Cottrell came back in the last two games and showed what he's capable of. And Fabian [Allen], he showed in South Africa games what he can do later in the innings and how his bowling has improved - he's always been dynamite in the field - so they've all played their part." He added.

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