September 25, 2022

Windies T20I captain bemoans absence of regular openers

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BY NELSON A. KING From Caribbean Life

Following the West Indies loss to India in both Twenty20 Internationals in India, West Indies Captain Carlos Brathwaite has lamented his team’s top order failure.

At the post-match presentation after the 2nd match in Lucknow, Brathwaite rued not having any designated opener in the side, saying that the makeshift approach taken by the management – with regards to their opening pair – has forced West Indies to always have a rocky start with the bat in the series, according to ESPNcricinfo.

It said that, in the first game in Kolkata, West Indies’ opening pair of Denesh Ramdin and Shai Hope — neither batsmen are regular T20I openers — lasted all of 15 deliveries, scoring only 16 runs between them.

In Lucknow, a new opening pair of Hope and Shimron Hetmyer “fared only marginally better with a combined tally of 21 runs in 22 deliveries,” ESPNcricinfo said.

With Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis opting out of the series due to personal reasons, Brathwaite said that the team was simply trying to make do with the resources that are available to them, according to ESPNcricinfo.

“We didn’t come to the tour with an out-and-out opener, so we are still trying to find our best opening combination,” Brathwaite said. “There were a few theories in the first game and also this game on how we wanted our batting order, for different reasons.

“Ultimately, neither worked, because we failed to get a good start,” he added. “But we’re working with the players we have on tour; and it’s difficult to choose the best batting pair, but we’re trying. Up until a theory works out, it will look bad and give the pundits something to say.”

Stuart Law, the West Indies coach, shared Brathwaite’s views at the post-match conference.

“We have got some fantastic T20 players,” he said. “But now, it’s just about playing for pride. “It’s time for them to dig deep and play for pride, and give it everything in the last game.

“If we play anywhere near to our potential, we can beat any team on the day,” he added. “We need to improve a lot to get to that stage.”

Law also defended Kieron Pollard’s inclusion in the side, despite two ordinary performances so far, according to ESPNcricinfo.

It said Pollard made 20 in two innings so far, and his solitary over in the Kolkata T20I – that went for 12 – arguably shifted the momentum of the game back into India’s hands at a time when they were reeling at 57 for four.

But Law said that Pollard brings much more to the table, and not just on the cricket field, ESPNcricinfo said.

“With the youngsters in the squad, it’s someone like Pollard who motivates them in the dressing room,” he said. “He’s a senior member of the squad, and we all know what he’s capable of when he gets going.”

IMAGE:West Indies’ Captain Carlos Brathwaite leaves the field after being dismissed during the first Twenty20 international cricket match between India and West Indies in Kolkata, India, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018. Associated Press / Bikas Das

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