As the West Indies take on New Zealand...

As the West Indies take on New Zealand...

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!


Understandably, assistant coach of the West Indies cricket team, Mr Roddy Estwick, is weary of losing.

He wants the Test match squad to step up and beat New Zealand in the upcoming series Down Under.

“ ... If we want to move up [Test match rankings], we've got to win series. It's important that we put two or three performances together, not one good performance ...” said Mr Estwick prior to departing the Caribbean for a trip that will involve two Test matches and three Twenty20 (T20) Internationals.

However, Mr Estwick also made the point that New Zealand is a very powerful side, especially difficult to beat at home.

He could also have added that the last time the West Indies faced New Zealand in that country three years ago, the visitors were badly beaten in both Tests.

Further, it's not by accident that New Zealand are ranked second in Test cricket while West Indies are at number eight, only ahead of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

Just before the novel coronavirus pandemic shut down international sport, New Zealand, playing at home, swept powerful India 2-0 in Tests.

Also, by late November when the first Test begins, Mr Jason Holder and his West Indies team will be facing hosts with several weeks of longer-format cricket behind them, since New Zealand's first-class tournament, the Plunket Shield, started earlier this month.

By contrast, West Indies players have had no first-class cricket since the tour of England, under biosecure conditions, in July.

In such circumstances, West Indies will have a monumental task against the highly talented, battle-hardened New Zealanders in the Test series, especially.

From this newspaper's perspective, the Caribbean side will have done extremely well if a drawn Test series is achieved in New Zealand.

On paper at least, it should be easier for the T20 squad to win in New Zealand. The West Indies, after all, won the T20 World Cup title in 2016; and boast a few of the globe's more celebrated short-format players.

But even then, because of recent poor performances, West Indies are ranked ninth in international T20 cricket compared to New Zealand's sixth.

For both sides, the T20 tournament is essential preparation for the World Cup in Australia next year. Readers may remember the tournament was postponed from late 2020 because of COVID-19.

For sure, a few members of the West Indies T20 squad, including Captain Mr Kieron Pollard, should be fit and in tune since they are now involved in the Indian Premier League.

One thing the West Indians will be grateful for, regardless of what happens in New Zealand, is the 'softer' COVID-19 restrictions there.

Unlike most of the world, New Zealand has kept a lid on the spread of the novel coronavirus. As a result, we are told, cricketers will be able to socialise and interact with locals once they have completed an initial quarantine period.

That's a far different scenario from the tour of England when the entire tour took place in a biosecure environment.

As we understand it, spectators will also be allowed in to watch the games in New Zealand.

We will be watching from a distance with great interest.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaper-login


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT