Nov 29, 2020 Sports
By Sean Devers
Kaieteur News – Veteran Guyanese born cricket broadcaster Joseph ‘Reds’ Perriera feels that the opening position is one area for worry as West Indies begin a Two-Test series against host New Zealand on what could be fast, bouncy tracks in the Island Nation.
The 81-year-old also felt it would be very difficult for Guyanese left-hander Shimron Hetmyer to be selected for the opening Test which runs from December 3-7 and responded to former West Indies pacer Franklyn Rose on the bowlers running in and bowling fast.
Reds, who made his Test debut as a Radio Commentator at Bourda in 1971 when India toured the West Indies, gave his thoughts on West Indies tour, while speaking on the ‘Sean Devers Sports Watch’ on Kaieteur Radio last Wednesday night vie zoom from St Lucia where he resides with his Guyanese wife.
Focusing on the Test Series, Reds said the question of the openers is an area of worry.
“After a good home series against England, (Kraigg) Brathwaite and (John) Campbell looked very much a part of the future but have gone downhill since then.
Braithwaite put together two good scores on the recent tour of England and has started well in New Zealand,” said Reds, who has been broadcasting First-Class cricket commentary since 1959.
In the second ‘A’ team warm up match in New Zealand, Braithwaite registered his highest First-Class score and along with Campbell (who made 45), put together a century stand.
Braithwaite scored a ‘double in the second Warm-up games while Darren Bravo, who missed the England series, scored 93 to follow-up his 132 in the first warm-up match.
Reds believes if the opening pair can get a good start, the middle order led by Bravo, will need to spend long periods of time at the crease in addition to scoring runs by rotating the strike and picking up singles while dispatching the bad balls.
“(Shamarh) Brooks will start…(Jermaine) Blackwood did well in England…he put his head down and put on his thinking cap, then there is (Royston) Chase. So what is the position with Hetmyer? How do we fit him in?” asked Reds.
Jamaican Rose recently said that he wanted the West Indian pacers to ‘run in and bowl fast and show aggression to bring back the memories of the days when West Indies defended 150 totals’.
Reds, who in 1973 was behind the Microphone when Joe Frazer and George Foreman battled for the Heavyweight world title in Jamaica, responded to Rose’s comments.
“Yes we have bowlers who can bowl fast and the pitches in New Zealand should have pace and bounce but we must remember that the pace quartet of the 80s did not just run in and bowled fast.
They had great skill, great control and great match awareness in addition to great speed. But our present bowlers lack some of those attributes,” Reds continued.
“If our pacers just run in and bowl fast the New Zealand batsmen will cut and hook all day,” added Reds, who along with the late Tony Cozier is regarded as the best two cricket commenters produced by the West Indies.
Reds’ team for the first Test is: Kraigg Braithwaite, John Campbell, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Jermaine Blackwood, Jason Holder, Shane Dowrich, Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph and Shermar Holder.
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