BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Assistant coach Roddy Estwick has cautioned West Indies against expecting an easy run on the tour of Netherlands, stressing the unfamiliar European conditions could be a factor in the three-match One-Day International series.
The May 31 to June 4 assignment will mark the Caribbean side’s first-ever tour of the Netherlands, and Estwick said a lack of knowledge about pitches, weather and players meant there was plenty of information gathering to be done in a short space of time.
“If you’re going to represent the West Indies, you should always be thinking about winning,” Estwick told a virtual media conference.
“Our expectation is to win all three ODIs but it’s not going to be easy. Remember a lot of the players would not have played in conditions like the ones we will encounter in the Netherlands, but it’s how quickly we adjust to the conditions and how quickly we adapt.
“We’ve only got a couple days practice before we go into the first ODI, so it’s all about adjusting and getting used to the conditions and then executing your game plans as spot on as possible.”
All three matches are scheduled for the VRA Cricket Ground in Amstelveen, an area located in the northwest of the country. There has been no international cricket at the venue in nearly three years.
Some rain and low temperatures hovering around 20 degrees Celsius have been forecast for the duration of the tour.
“The major challenge will be adjusting to the pitches and getting used to the conditions,” Estwick continued.
“We don’t know what the conditions will be like — it could be cold, it could be hot — but it’s adjusting to the conditions.
“Obviously we haven’t played any cricket against Holland so we don’t know a lot about the players. Once we get there we’ll have a look at footage, we’ll get the analyst to come up with various strengths and weaknesses [of their players] and then we come up with a game plan.”
He added: “The key thing is all about focussing on us and making sure we are properly prepared, and that we get as much information — while we’re practicing — out of the conditions.
“So that’s going to be very, very key how we prepare over the three days practice that we’ve got, and focussing on our skills and our strengths.”
West Indies are lodged at ninth in the International Cricket Council’s ODI rankings, five spots above the Netherlands, and will be heavy favourites for a clean sweep.
But Estwick again warned his side the only focus which mattered was execution on match-day.
“Unfortunately, cricket is never played on paper; it’s played on grass and being favourites count for nothing,” he argued.
“I think what people have got to look at is the opportunity that’s given to them. The opportunity that is given to them is to go out and represent West Indies — it doesn’t matter who you play. You should not be lowering your standards to accommodate the opposition.
“The bottom line is always give a hundred per cent, no matter who you’re playing against. That’s the important thing.
“We’re going to try and take the opposition out of the equation and try to make sure we prepare properly and [make sure] the players are in the mental space to go out and execute their skills.”