Windies confident of positive result in do-or-die clashThursday, October 28, 2021
SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (CMC) – West Indies face Bangladesh on Friday with their Twenty20 World Cup hopes hanging by a string but vice-captain Nicholas Pooran has backed his embattled side to get the result required and keep alive their chances of a semi-final spot.
The Caribbean side has suffered heavy defeats in their opening two games, appearing lethargic in going down by six wickets to England in Dubai last weekend and by eight wickets to South Africa on Tuesday at the same venue.
Anchored at the bottom of Group 1 with an adverse net run rate, the reigning champions know that another loss will rule out any chance of finishing in the top two and advancing to the next round.
Like West Indies, Bangladesh are also winless in two outings and Pooran believes the contest provides the ideal opportunity for his side to turn around their ongoing anaemic form.
“I think Bangladesh, after losing two games, they're in the situation with us as well. So I think it's going to be a good challenge for us tomorrow. We need to get that victory,” Pooran told a media conference Thursday.
“And being in Sharjah as well – we know Bangladesh has a lot of spinners as well. It's definitely going to be a good challenge for us as well, and it's how bad we actually want it.”
He continued: “I definitely think it's a good opportunity for us to bounce back.
“It's just another game of cricket – anyone can win. But … it's a do-or-die game for us and we believe that we're going to be successful tomorrow.
“And again, I can't emphasise enough how important it is to perform our roles. Once we do that, then everything can take care of itself.”
West Indies have been let down by a scattered approach from their batsmen, bowled out for a near historic low of 55 against England and then limited to 143 for eight against South Africa.
Packed with power-hitters, the West Indies order have been guilty of injudicious stroke-play, leading to swift collapses in both games.
The likes of Lendl Simmons, veteran Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell and Pooran have all failed to fire, with only opener Evin Lewis getting among the runs with a half-century against South Africa.
While two of the three games played in Sharjah have been high-scoring affairs, Pooran said there was no reason to approach the game with only a six-hitting mentality.
“We're not sure how Sharjah is going to play tomorrow but our focus is not on the small boundaries, to be honest. We just want to execute our skills and once we can do that, then the results can take care of [themselves],” he explained.
“We can't really say it's short boundaries and we're going to hit sixes, and we want to be aggressive as a team. We can't really say that.
“Only when we go tomorrow and we assess the pitch [and] the conditions there, then we can actually try to put a game plan into place as quick as possible and try to get a really good score.”
Though West Indies have lost every game of the tournament, inclusive of the two official warm-ups against Pakistan and Afghanistan, Pooran said the side remained upbeat and positive about the rest of the tournament.
“The mood in the camp is still good. The guys are gelling really good. We are very hurt by losing those two games and we have only ourselves to blame,” he pointed out.
“But the mood is still good. We know what we have to do and everyone is up for the challenge.
“If you can accept that we weren't good in the first two games, I think as batsmen, as a team, we already accepted that we didn't come to the party. And we're looking forward to moving forward and hopefully we can do much better.”
BANGLADESH – Mahmudullah (captain), Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Naim Sheikh, Mustafizur Rahman, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Shak Mahedi Hasan, Nasum Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Rubel Hossain, Shamim Hossain
WEST INDIES – Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran, Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Akeal Hosein, Dwayne Bravo, Roston Chase, Andre Fletcher, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Jason Holder, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr