BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
West Indies batsmen have been seeking to improve their ability to play spin as the squad fine-tune its preparations in a training camp in Barbados ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.
Team management has imported a special leg spin bowling machine which allows the ball to spin and dip, and is being used regularly by the players as part of their practice sessions this week.
The 15-man squad, including captain Darren Sammy, is attending the week-long camp at the High Performance Centre at University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus.
"I think it's going to be of great help to playing spin. We expect wickets in Sri Lanka to turn a little bit. They tend to on the subcontinent," explained West Indies assistant head coach Toby Radford.
"So we think the best way of preparing is playing on that machine."
The machine, called 'Merlyn', can replicate a range of spin deliveries such as leg breaks, off breaks, top spinners and arm balls, and has been greeted with praise by professional players and coaches alike.
PRACTISING TO PLAY SPIN
Among the players who have been concentrating heavily on practising to play spin using the Merlyn spin bowling machine during the one-week camp is Darren Bravo, who has recovered from injury.
"Darren has been on it as much as anyone. Yes, he is playing well, almost as if he had not been injured," said Radford.
"I know he has been out for a period of time, but he is in good spirits. He has worked hard on the bowling machine."
Apart from using the Merlyn spin bowling machine, the players have been involved in vigorous training routines, including gym and fitness training, as well as indoor and outdoor nets and match scenarios.
As part of their preparation, the West Indies will play two warm-up matches against the High Performance Centre and Combined Campuses and Colleges today.
"We know they are a very talented side. We know they can do well and everything is gearing up to flying off on Sunday in good shape," Radford told reporters.
"We have worked hard in the gym; the fitness trainers really pushed them pretty much doing some fitness every single day, and then we are in the nets, indoor nets, bowling machines, outdoor nets."
West Indies will contest Group B alongside Australia and minnows Ireland in the ICC World Twenty20, which runs from from September 18 to October 7.