Lendl Simmons was supposed to board a flight to India on Friday to join his IPL franchise Mumbai Indians. Instead, he got a call from Clive Lloyd, the West Indies chief selector, after Andre Fletcher was ruled out of the knockout stage. It meant Simmons got an opportunity to contribute to the Caribbean cause at the World Twenty20, an event that he had to withdraw from owing to a back injury.
As a result, after arriving in Mumbai on Tuesday ahead of Thursday’s semifinal, more than getting acclimatised to conditions, Simmons focus was to recover from jet lag.
“I slept on both flights. I came here on Tuesday and I slep the night. In the morning I had practice. After that I slept from 3-10pm. Slept again from 12 pm-4pm, so I was very rested,” a relieved Simmons said after helping West Indies make its second World T20 final.
In terms of quality, Simmons’ unbeaten 82 didn’t really match Virat Kohli’s 89 not out earlier in the evening. But the Trinidadian’s knock was more effective since it ended up in a winning cause. That he was dismissed twice off no-balls and caught on the boundary line only to see Ravindra Jadeja’s foot had kissed the rope hinted it was indeed Simmons’ night.
“Ttoday was my day. Every cricketer has his day and today was my day. I had bit of luck on my side and I rode my luck and things went the way I wanted it,” he said.
Despite staying on till the very end in West Indies chase, Simmons admitted that it remained a close call right till an Andre Russell six off Virat Kohli sealed it for his team with two balls to spare.
“At no point I thought that we had it under control because if a wicket falls you never know. But the bowling was suspect. They had Nehra and Bumrah, two fast bowlers, but not express pace,” Simmons said.
“Everyone of our players is a match-winner in our team: Sammy to bat, Bravo to bat, Russell came in, he played his part, Ramdin still to bat. We have a lot of batting power and any total anyone makes we can chase it. We always back ourselves to chase totals.”