MELBOURNE (Reuters) – West Indies coach Phil Simmons has lamented a lack of match practice for his embattled team ahead of the second test against Australia.
The Caribbeans, trailing 1-0 in the three-match series after being trounced in the series opener in Hobart, were given only a two-day tour match in the leadup to the traditional Boxing Day test in Melbourne despite having 13 days to fill.
The match against Victoria XI, played in scorching hot conditions in the port city of Geelong against a team of amateurs, also ended early on Sunday due to a downpour.
“When I saw the amount of days in between I asked that we have at least a four-day game,” Simmons told local media after the game ended with the hosts 169-3 in reply to West Indies’ first innings declaration at 303-8.
“When the last MOU (memorandum of understanding) came back it ended up a two-day game.
“I would love to have had a four-day game where we could bowl properly and play a proper game, like we did up in Brisbane.
“That’s what I would have been happy with… a two-day game is not ideal.”
Victoria state’s top cricketers were unavailable due to their commitments in the domestic ‘Big Bash’ Twenty20 tournament, leaving Jason Holder’s team to play against a grab-bag of players cobbled from local clubs.
“I would have loved a first team but the Big Bash has just started so it was always going to be hard,” Simmons said.
“You’d always prefer to get better games.
“When people come to us now… our A team will always play the visiting team and that’s the sort of competition I would like when we go outside the West Indies.”
The Boxing Day test starts on Saturday, with the third and final match of the series in Sydney from Jan. 3.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)