West Indies Women are expecting a strong challenge in the upcoming tour of South Africa and the ICC Women’s World Twenty20, but coach Vasbert Drakes says he is confident of a strong performance from his team.
The Windies women are currently attending a training camp at the 3Ws Oval at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies before departing for South Africa next week.
“Certainly in the last couple of days we have made some steady progress. We are quite happy to see the work that is being done as it relates to people paying more attention to details and their discipline. So I think it’s a nice build-up to certainly the South African series and by extension the World Cup,” Drakes told Barbados TODAY.
“I think over the period of the last five years you would have seen that the bowlers would have certainly been a lot more consistent.
“You know we have some senior players like the captain [Stafanie Taylor] and Deandra [Dottin], those are the go-to individuals that we [have] relied on in the last couple of years. But we challenge all the individuals to make sure that you create your own destiny, you definitely have that talent, it’s just a matter of trying to maximise that talent. And so far we can see there’s been some steady progress and the challenge is to keep it going,” Drakes added.
He also had high praise for Taylor, who took up the role of captain last year when West Indies played Pakistan at home. The upcoming tour will be her first as captain.
“So far she would have won the series against Pakistan. I thought it was a fantastic achievement from her, certainly going into the competition with a lot of expectations from her as a captain and she handled it with grace, she managed her troops well on the field. And also with her performance as we all know she leads from the front so she’s quite excited over her new role.
“And just coming back from the Big Bash where they actually won she would be coming back with more confidence and some new ideas. She’s a natural leader and the girls look up to her so I guarantee one thing, she will be trying her best to ensure that West Indies go forward as the captain.”
Drakes noted that their victory over Pakistan has boosted the team’s confidence.
“So certainly going into the South African series again it will be a challenge but I guarantee you we will be going in there with the confidence that is required in competitive cricket and win critical games,” he said.
The South Africa tour runs from February 22 to March 9, with the first World Cup T20 match scheduled to bowl off on March 16 in India.
Drakes said however that he was not worried about the short time between the tournaments, as according to him, the players are “fully aware of their responsibility”.
“We would have strategic plans in place and we would have done a lot of work over the last couple of months to make sure that we are in a position where we are hitting our targets.”
He said management is now working to ensure that the players remain fresh and injury-free during both tournaments.