Thu | Feb 25, 2021

Self-belief key for depleted Windies

Published:Wednesday | January 20, 2021 | 12:18 AM
Mohammed
Mohammed

DHAKA, Bangladesh (CMC):

Interim captain Jason Mohammed has cited self-belief as critical to West Indies’ chances as they prepare to face Bangladesh in the opening One-Day International of the three-match series, which start early Wednesday morning.

The Caribbean side found themselves depleted for the series after several first choice players, including captain Kieron Pollard, declined selection due to concerns over the COVID-19 situation here.

Then, fast bowling all-rounder, Romario Shepherd, tested positive for the novel coronavirus before leaving the Caribbean and had to be replaced while leg-spinning all-rounder, Hayden Walsh, also tested positive after the squad arrived here, and had to be placed in isolation.

Mohammed, poised to make his first appearance in maroon colours in 2-1/2 years, said the series represented a “big opportunity” for the squad, nine of whom were yet to play a single ODI in their careers.

“It depends on the day and how you play,” Mohammed told an online media conference here on the event of the opening ODI.

“A lot of guys will be making their debut but once you have that belief within yourself and within the team that you can do well and you can win games, then these things are achievable.

“We’re just looking to play some good cricket starting [Wednesday] and hopefully the results can go on our side as well.”

He continued: “We’re just looking to enjoy the series and enjoy our first game. Obviously it’s a big opportunity for all of us here representing the West Indies and we just want to do well as individuals but more importantly, bring that together in doing well for the team and showing that we can have some good results here.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of positives going around. We’ve had a couple days [here] where we have prepared well and hopefully we can use whatever we learn [here] and put it into the game.”

West Indies are missing the likes of Shai Hope, who has been the side’s leading batsman inside the last two years, along with left-handed trio of Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran.

All-rounder Jason Holder, the former captain, has also opted out along with off-spinning all-rounder Roston Chase and strike bowler Sheldon Cottrell.

The absence of these leading players forced selectors to turn to Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva, Jahmar Hamilton, Chemar Holder, Akeal Hosein, Kyle Mayers, Andre McCarthy, Kjorn Ottley and Keon Harding, all uncapped in ODIs.

INSTIL BELIEF

Mohammed said though inexperienced at the highest level, many of the new players had already enjoyed long stints at domestic level and the role of management would be to try to instil the belief required to excel.

West Indies arrived in Bangladesh 10 days ago and were forced to spend three days in isolation as per COVID-19 tour health protocols, before being allowed to train.

They played a single intra-squad match, comprising only one innings, but enjoyed no luxury of a formal tour game. However, Mohammed said the batsmen had shaped up well in training sessions and were especially braced for the challenge of facing Bangladesh’s potent spin attack.

West Indies have won nine of their last 17 ODIs against Bangladesh inside the last 10 years but have lost the last two series against the south Asian side.