Pride on the line as West Indies look for momentum ahead of Test series
By Akeem Greene
Bangladesh, as expected, have sealed the three-match One-Day International series against West Indies with a match in hand. But, for the visitors, there is still much to play for, according to Assistant Coach, Roddy Estwick.
West Indies have lost their second successive ODI series in Bangladesh and the last seven matches against the Tigers.
While confidence might be down, there is still much to play for in the dead rubber; one team will be getting 10 points in Super League and also some momentum for the two-Test series, which starts February 3.
The Super League is an important tournament for teams on the road to Cricket World Cup 2023.
India, who are the hosts, and the other top seven teams will qualify automatically for the World Cup.
The bottom five teams will play a qualifying tournament, which will also feature the best teams from the lower rounds of competition.
West Indies had to play that qualification for the 2019 World Cup and lost the final to Afghanistan, but still qualified for the global event.
“You want good performances but you want a win,” Estwick said in response to a question from News Room Sport on the eve of Monday’s third ODI, which starts 01:30h (Eastern Caribbean time).
“What you would want to see is batsmen getting a decent score and bowlers putting in decent performances which would give the Test match guys confidence going forward and spread among the team.”
“The team is in good spirits, the Test match boys are supporting the 50-over boys, we are all in it together, and any little advantage we can gain over this next game is going to be so vital. Once you are not winning, the confidence tends to get a bit low…the players are trying but ODI cricket is new for a lot of them.”
One of the many issues is that West Indies’ next generation of players, more so the batsmen, are already struggling with conversion and rotation of strike like the current seasoned players.
It is a worrying signs for the future and the Barbadian said it is linked to the regional system where batsmen and by virtue teams are not making big totals.
There were only three totals in excess of 300 at the last the Super50 and only two batsmen got two or more centuries.
In this series, West Indies have failed to surpass 150 batting first, and no batsman has made a half-century.
“If you have been following cricket for the last 10 years, you would see that it is a problem of [West Indies] placing scores on the board, especially in the 50-over game.”
“People are not getting scores and a lot of the players are going into the unknown, they are not accustomed to putting big scores on the board. Teams are very comfortable defending 220-240 and we are trying to change that.”
The coach indicated this series is the start to the long term plans of 2023 World Cup.
“We are having plans and discussions to see how we can get the scores bigger. We are also looking at this series, but we have to look at the 50-over World Cup in 2023, so a lot of our planning is geared around that but when you have the kind of disruptions we have had for this series in Bangladesh, it obviously going to be a challenge.”
Estwick said he is impressed with left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein and opener Kjorn Ottley, both of whom are on their debut series.
He said it is now over to them to work overtime and to consistently improve if they want to compete with the best in the world.