Simmons: Windies can pull off tri-nations shock


Phil Simmons is optimistic that West Indies can exceed expectations once again in the one-day international tri-series as they prepare for the opening game against South Africa on Friday.

The Windies upset the odds to win an unprecedented second ICC World Twenty20 title in India two months ago after being written off in certain quarters.

Success in the 50-over format has been in short supply, which was evident when the latest world rankings were released showing the Windies languishing in eighth.

Simmons is confident his side can make their presence felt, starting with a clash against the Proteas in Guyana before turning their attention to facing the top-ranked world champions Australia.

And the Windies head coach is not reading anything into two warm-up defeats against a Barbados Select team last week.

"I would not be too concerned about that since five of our top players were missing and I thought we had good sessions in Barbados," he said.

"I am confident that if we play our best cricket we will be successful since we were not the favourites in the T20 World Cup and ended up winning."

Proteas all-rounder Chris Morris plans to carry on where he left off in the Indian Premier League by starring on the international stage.

He said: "The IPL was a good one personally. I always see it as a good opportunity to learn more about yourself as a person and as a cricketer.

"It was a good year, I made a lot of new team-mates and friends, but international cricket is a different animal. I will take a lot of confidence from the IPL, but it's good to be back playing international cricket. 

"It's a big responsibility being an all-rounder in the team. It's an opportunity I'm trying to grasp with two hands because that is what I want to do.

"I have put in a lot of hard work, especially on my batting, to have the opportunity. I look at it as an exciting part of my career, I'm at an age where I have an opportunity to cement my spot so hopefully I can do that."

All-rounder Kieron Pollard and spinner Sunil Narine are in line to make their international returns for the hosts, while under-pressure Proteas coach Russell Domingo is expected to choose between Morris or Wayne Parnell.