CHENNAI, India, CMC – Despite a recent disappointing record in One-Day Internationals, assistant coach Roddy Estwick believes the signs are there that West Indies are about to turn around their fortunes in the format.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s start of the three-match ODI series against India at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Estwick said not only did the Caribbean side possess the quality players necessary but were also beginning to develop a high class work ethic in their preparation.
“It’s exciting times for us. When you look at somebody like (Shimron) Hetmyer, (Nicholas) Pooran, Shai Hope – we’ve got young batsmen who are developing,” he told a media conference here Friday.
“But the key thing is how you prepare, if you’re prepared to work hard and you’ve got a benchmark in Virat Kohli – somebody who you will see in the gym and will work very, very hard, and once our players can learn from players like that then we’ve got a chance because without hard work there’s no success, and hard work is boring but it gives you great success.
“Once they can learn and keep working, keep dealing with the process then they’ve got a chance.”
West Indies have struggled in ODIs in recent years and currently languish at number nine, ahead only of the likes of minnows Afghanistan, Ireland and Zimbabwe.
However, the year began with much promise when they held world number ones England to a 2-2 draw in a five-match series at the Caribbean. But a wretched World Cup campaign where they managed just two wins in nine matches and finished ninth, coupled with a subsequent series loss to India at home, saw their form slump again.
Estwick said the players had lifted themselves well for the ongoing subcontinent tour, however, and reflected the high level of professionalism required.
“They’ve been brilliant on this tour. We can’t fault them on this tour at all, they’ve worked really hard and they’re beginning to see the results,” he pointed out.
“If you look at Hetmyer’s play in the T20 [it’s been] very, very exciting. Now we go to the longer format and people forget that already at a very young age he’s got four ODI hundreds so obviously there’s a lot of talent there and once he keeps working – and that’s the key, you cannot rest with cricket, you cannot relax.
“Once you rest with cricket, it will bite you so you’ve got to keep preparing, keep your processes and once you keep doing that then you will get the results.”
He added: “We’re happy with the way we performed in the T20s [against India]. After the three T20s we played in the Caribbean, the gulf between the two teams was wide and we’re happy that we’ve narrowed that gap and we hope we can do the same thing in the 50 overs.”
A major criticism of West Indies in the one-day format was their over-emphasis on boundary-hitting while neglecting rotation of strike – especially in the critical middle overs.
But Estwick argued they had made significant strides in that area.
“I thought we did that brilliantly against Afghanistan. That is an area where we’ve improved,” he stressed.
“We know that we’ve got to improve in that area and we’ve kept working at that and we brought it down against Afghanistan. And when you look at Afghanistan, you know they [have got] quality spin bowlers so that was a good test for us and we were able to do that in that series.
“Once we can continue doing that – we know we’ve got the power at the back end of the innings – keep rotating the strike, keep turning over the strike, keep limiting dot balls, we’ll get a better score.”
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