ODI: Consistency key to West Indies toppling India- Estwick
By Akeem Greene
Since 2014 when West Indies won 3-0 against the touring Bangladesh, One-Day International series success has eluded the Caribbean side. The captain then was Dwayne Bravo.
It means therefore, since Jason Holder was appointed captain on the cusp of 2015 World Cup, he has not won a series, his best effort being a 2-2 draw with England in the Caribbean earlier this year and 1-1 with Afghanistan in 2017.
A deeper dive into the numbers shows Holder, in 84 appearances as ODI captain, has only won 24 while losing 52. Two were tied and six ended with a no-result.
The ambitious hope for the number nine ranked team is to topple the number two side by winning back-to-back matches in Trinidad on Sunday and Wednesday.
“We are still looking to win the series. You’ve got to create a culture where you are winning. Obviously it didn’t go as planned in the T20s…we know India are a good side, but we still believe if we play our best cricket, we have a great chance to win,” Assistant Coach Roderick Estwick stated after the rained-out first match at Providence on Thursday.
The former Barbados fast bowler noted there is no quick fix to West Indies problems, but if they stand any chance to succeed, it is paramount intensity and fitness improves.
“It is all about consistency. If you look back at our history, you would know we would have been losing for quite a number of years, but we now got to put systems in place. Once we can start ticking the boxes in all the areas then we sure we can turn it around. It is not going to happen overnight.”
“I know the people in the Caribbean are expecting us to win straight away, but we want to build blocks. We want to make sure when we win, we can go on a decent run and we can be consistent for a number of years.”
Without doubt, one of the boxes to tick is rotation of strike. After a five-and-a-half-hour period where only 13 overs were bowled, the match was called off.
West Indies were 54-1 after 13 overs, facing 49 dot balls in the process.
“We have been preaching that [ strike rotation] but people seem to think that when you come up to the International level and you haven’t been doing it at the regional level then you expect miracles. It has to start at the regional level. CCC [Combined Colleges & Campuses] won the Regional 50-over tournament last year and didn’t score over 250 runs. So it is a problem, but we seem to think the problem starts at the Test match level. Once we get it right at the regional level, we got a chance but we must get the support from the territorial boards to improve rotation of strike and ensure the pitches are getting better.”
Return to form
With scores of 0,0 and 10 in the T20Is, Evin Lewis cracked and unbeaten 36-ball 40, inclusive of two fours and three sixes. It was welcome return to some semblance of form.
“Evin struggled in the T20s and it was very refreshing (to see him get some runs). We congratulated him in the dressing room and we would have hoped he would have had more time at the crease. Hopefully, he can build on that as he goes back to his home territory. He is very important to us.”
Keemo Paul fit
After suffering a blow to the ankle during the third and final T20I on Tuesday, death bowling specialist Keemo Paul was not on the starting list Thursday. The assumption was injury was a factor in his exclusion, but Estwick stated the Guyanese is fit.
“Keemo is fit. Keemo is a very important member of this squad. He is a young man and a very talented cricketer. You got to make sure you can rest him at certain times. I don’t know the selectors plans so I really cannot comment on that (his exclusion), but I am sure Keemo will be involved in all three formats and that takes a lot of stress on a young body.”