WI aim to make home turf count
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
West Indies batting coach Toby Radford said yesterday that the regional side would try to make home advantage count in the upcoming Twenty20 series against Pakistan, as they attempted to make amends for their dismal showing last September.
Just seven months ago, the reigning T20 World champions found themselves on the end of a humiliating series whitewash in the United Arab Emirates as Pakistan convincingly won the three-match series on 'home turf'.
However, with much more familiar conditions expected, Radford said he was anticipating a change in fortunes.
"I think the big thing when we played out there is we found that the pitches were particularly slow and obviously suited their spin bowlers, and they made very, very big boundaries and made us run a lot," the Englishman pointed out.
The four-match series opens on Sunday at Kensington Oval here before heading to Trinidad and Tobago for the last three games at Queen's Park Oval.
West Indies have been in training since they assembled on Wednesday and Radford said everyone looked in fine form.
"We had a good session this morning and all the batters looked in really good touch, which is encouraging," he said.
"There's one big game coming up in Barbados this weekend and then it's off to Trinidad for three games there. It will be a really exciting series and, hopefully, they'll put in a really good performance."
While the side will be without the likes of T20 stars Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell, it includes other big names like batsmen Kieron Pollard and Marlon Samuels, along with leg-spinner Samuel Badree.
Selectors have also opted for first-timers Jonathan Carter, Jason Mohammed and Veerasammy Permaul coming on the heels of their good form against England in the recent one-day series, and the move is one Radford endorsed.
"Carter and Jason Mohammed played very well in the 50-over tournament recently against England, and I think it is great their form has been recognised by the board and they've been given an opportunity in this format as well," he pointed out.
Radford continued: "I think it's an exciting team, a mix of real talent that's been there and done it and some youngsters who show real quality, and I think putting those together, I would love to see [West Indies] put some good performances together."