Phil Simmons is the current Head Coach of the West Indies team © Getty Images
Phil Simmons is the current Head Coach of the West Indies team © Getty Images

Guyana: West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has given an assurance that the players arriving from the recent Indian Premier League (IPL) are highly motivated for the upcoming tri-nations series starting here on Friday. Captain Jason Holder, along with Kieron Pollard, Carlos Brathwaite, Sunil Narine only joined up with the squad recently, following their IPL stints for their respective franchises, reports CMC. But despite a long campaign and the travel involved in flying back to the Caribbean from India, Simmons said the players were in fine spirits. “They are fully raring to go. I can’t tell you they are fully recovered – that’s the physios and doctors’ areas but they are raring to go,” the Trinidadian said on Wednesday. Of the four, all eyes will be on off-spinner Narine who will be displaying his remodelled action in the Caribbean for the first time. READ: West Indies coach Phil Simmons concedes Australia are favorites to win the tri-series

The right-armer was reported for having a suspect action during the series against Sri Lanka last November and subsequently banned by the International Cricket Council and forced to undergo rehabilitation. He missed the West Indies’ Twenty20 World Cup triumph in India but was cleared to bowl again ahead of the IPL, where he gathered 11 wickets in as many games, for franchise Kolkata Knight Riders.

Simmons said Narine, along with left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn and off-spinner Ashley Nurse, were expected to play critical roles in the tri-nations series, also involving Australia and South Africa. “He’s important for the West Indies in the fact he can get wickets in the middle overs like Sulieman Benn and Ashley Nurse. And that’s what we need,” Simmons pointed out. READ: Viv Richards lends support to sacked West Indies coach Curtly Ambrose

The West Indies team spent the week putting the final touches on their preparation, following a week-long camp in Barbados where they played two warm-up matches against Barbados, losing both. However, Simmons said the West Indies also worked on tactical matters and were fine-tuning their approach for the upcoming games. READ: Phil Simmons hints at strained relationship with WICB President Dave Cameron

“We are working hard on trying to get as many singles as possible. We are a team that doesn’t get as many singles as we would like to and it’s something we have worked hard on and are trying to improve in. Generally, we’ve been working on the whole thinking of the game and the whole assessment of the situation to make sure we do the right thing in that situation,” he noted.

The West Indies play South Africa on Friday at the Guyana National Stadium and take on Australia on Sunday at the same venue. The tournament runs from June 3-26 and will also be played in St. Kitts and Barbados.