SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates – Bowling coach Roddy Estwick believes West Indies can be a Test force to be reckoned with within the next two years, once the young players continue their promising development.
Speaking against the backdrop of what has been a bruising tour against Pakistan, Estwick reminded that the squad was a young one still learning the ropes but backed them to ultimately produce the goods at international level.
“People forget this is a very, very young side. When you look at the number of players under 25, it is unbelievable that a side in Test cricket could be so young,” said Barbadian Estwick, a former West Indies Under-19 coach.
“But it’s a good thing and once the people of the Caribbean and the selectors remain patient, I think we’ve got the making of a pretty decent side in 12 to 18 months.”
West Indies have lost every game on the current tour, losing the Twenty20 and One-Day International series by 3-0 margins, and trail 2-0 in the three-Test series.
While they were completely outplayed in the limited overs series, they have put up somewhat of a fight in the two Tests so far, stretching each encounter into the final day before succumbing.
Estwick said the Caribbean side had shown glimpses of what they were capable of during the Test series.
“You have to look at how Shannon Gabriel has bowled especially in the last Test match and in the second innings of the first Test match,” he said.
“You look at (Devendra) Bishoo in the first match as well. You look at how Kraigg Brathwaite played in the last innings and also Jermaine Blackwood, so you’re seeing a glimpse and once people continue to work hard [they will improve.]”
And Estwick stressed that with rankings points on offer, West Indies needed to lift themselves for the encounter despite the recent bad results.
“You still have to remain positive. Obviously when you look at the two Test matches we were in good positions to get a win, especially in the first Test match. I personally thought we should have won that,” he said in reference to the historic day/night game in Dubai which the Windies lost by 56 runs.
“But we’ve got to remain positive because if you look at it, we’re still playing for ranking points, we’re still trying to move up that ladder, we’re still trying to do a lot better than we have done on the tour.
“We haven’t won a game yet on tour so it will be very important to get a win here and give us some kind of momentum going into Zimbabwe (ODI series).”