Selector Harper sees improvement in white-ball format


Selector Harper sees improvement in white-ball format

Friday, April 10, 2020

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Convenor of selectors Roger Harper has hailed the improved batting of the white-ball unit as one of the positives for West Indies in recent months.

And the former Guyana and West Indies off-spinner said the return of “older, wiser heads” had also brought a new level of effectiveness to the bowling, especially at the death stages of the innings.

“If you look for one thing that has been relatively consistent is the way the team has batted,” Harper told i95 FM here.

“I think we've seen some consistency in the white-ball team both in the 50-over game and the T20 game and that of course is a plus.

“We have identified that our bowling at times hasn't been as sharp and smart as it needed to be but with the inclusion of some of the older, wiser heads — more experience from a bowling perspective especially at the end of the innings – we've seen some improvement there as well.”

West Indies flopped spectacularly at last year's 50-over World Cup in England, when they won just twice in nine outings to finish ninth of 10 teams and record their worst-ever performance at the showpiece.

The performance prompted a shake-up in the white-ball team, with Jason Holder and Carlos Brathwaite being ditched as captain of the ODI and Twenty20 sides, respectively and the previously exiled Kieron Pollard returning to take over as skipper.

Since then, West Indies' form has remained volatile, winning seven of 12 ODIs and just five of 11 Twenty20 Internationals.

The Windies' Test form has also seen inconsistency, winning three of their last six Tests inside the last 12 months.

Harper, though, praised the victory over minnows Afghanistan last November, when the two teams met in the historic inaugural one-off Test in India.

West Indies are preparing to defend their title at the T20 World Cup scheduled to be staged in Australia from October 18 to November 15.

However, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has halted all cricket globally and put in doubt the showpiece.

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