Estwick wants West Indies ‘A-game’ in bid to change history
By Akeem Greene
West Indies Assistant Coach Roddy Estwick said on Wednesday at the Virtual press briefing that the third Test, starting Friday, is a virtual final.
He said it is imperative the entire West Indies group, from players to management, bring their best. Current holders of the Wisden Trophy, West Indies have not won a series in England since 1988.
“We are constantly reminding them we got a chance to change something that hasn’t happened for 32 years. We have played them a few times over the last few years and we have won Test matches; we obviously won [the series] in the Caribbean and we want to go one step better here in England.”
“We really want to win that Test match, we got to be up for it, obviously England are going to be up for it as well. When you look at this game, it is a final for both teams and whoever puts in a big performance will win.”
It will be a Test of character for West Indies to rebound from the 113-run defeat, but they don’t have to look far for inspiration since on the 2017 tour, they rebounded strongly after a huge defeat.
Estwick is adamant that the entire group needs to put the loss behind them and bring their best since this golden opportunity to produce a memorable tour.
“Come Friday there is no second-guessing, since this is a big Test match for the region and we just got to be ready. We can’t have any excuses, we got to go out there and bring our A-game; all eleven players that walk out on that park plus the support staff, we got to be up for it.”
The Assistant Coach added, “We’ve got to push them and make sure that we leave no stone unturned to make sure we get the result that the Caribbean deserves.”
West Indies inserted England at Old Trafford – against the history of previous sides batting first- and it meant after the pacers workload in the first Test and quick turnover in matches, they had to try and dismiss England cheaply again, but that did not happen They were in the field for 162 overs.
Though Head Coach Phil Simmons dismissed the notion of anything physically wrong with speedster Shannon Gabriel, who bowled 36.5 overs in the first Test for Man-of-the Match returns of 9-137, he lacked rhythm in the second Test where he went wicketless in 33 overs.
Returning after a long injury lay-off and quick turnover of Tests, there was the argument of resting him, a similar strategy being employed by England but according to Estwick, it is a two-fold situation.
“Selection is 20-20 vision. If we rested Shannon Gabriel before the Test match after getting nine wickets and we lost that Test match, people would be saying Shannon got nine wickets, why did we rest him?”
The Barbadian added: “You got to give England credit, they were better than us on the day…it is hindsight and what we got to do now is to make sure that when this Test comes around we are ready mentally and physically for the challenge. We can’t keep looking back and say we should have done this and done that, not because England has done it and proves successful does not mean it will work for us.”
Compassion for Archer
England’s fast bowler Jofra Archer, who was dropped from the second Test for breaching the bio-secure protocols, said he abused racially on social media platforms over his actions. Archer was fined and given a written warning by the England and Wales Cricket Board for the breach.
At the start of the series, both sides openly supported the Black Lives Matter movement and all players and staff took a knee just before play commenced on the first day.
Estwick, who has a close relationship with Archer from his elementary years in Barbados, said he was disappointed to hear about the abuse and offered support.
“Obviously disappointing to hear a player racially abused, but it does happen. I have seen him come out and say he is going to try and stay off social media a bit and that is a start.”
“He just got to lay low and focus on the game, focus on getting back on the park, focus on people that you can trust and people that are there for you and try to block out the rest.”
Archer was named in England’s squad for third Test, starting on Friday at Old Trafford.