DHAKA, Bangladesh — Twenty20 skipper Carlos Brathwaite has praised the influence of interim West Indies head coach Floyd Reifer in the Caribbean’s capture of T20 series against Bangladesh.
The Windies produced a strong all-round performance in Saturday’s final match at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, to come away with an emphatic 50-run victory and clinch the series 2-1.
Brathwaite revealed that Reifer had taken up the position ahead of the series and that his encouragement to the squad had had a galvanising effect.
“Floyd has been tremendous for us since he came on. [He’s brought] a lot of positivity,” Brathwaite said.
“Obviously I’ve worked with him back home and he’s shared that positivity with the guys, and he’s always been [saying] ‘we need to win games, we need to win series. We’re a champion team’. And for a coach who’s taking his first taste at the international level to come and bring that positivity and that passion, it seeped right through the group.”
Reifer, a former West Indies captain, is an experienced coach who has worked extensively with the Combined Campuses and Colleges, based in Barbados. He has coached West Indies “A” and was drafted into the senior Windies set-up for the recent tour of India when Toby Radford fell ill.
Cricket West Indies had announced South African Nic Pothas as the interim coach ahead of the Bangladesh series, after Australian Stuart Law’s abrupt departure following the tour of India.
The T20 series win over Bangladesh was crucial for West Indies, especially after being whitewashed 2-0 in the preceding Tests and going down 2-1 in the one-dayers.
They won the opening T20I by eight wickets but played poorly in the second match to lose by 36 runs. However, they rebounded to win the final match here, thanks to Evin Lewis’s 89 and 20-year-old seamer Keemo Paul’s career-best five for 15.
Brathwaite said the result was the team’s gift to supporters back home.
“This victory is for all the people in the Caribbean — Merry Christmas to you all — and as a team, we’re just happy we can leave Asia with something in the bag,” he said.
Following the defeat in the second match, Brathwaite had promised the Windies would bring their A-game for the finale.
And they displayed their intent from the start, rallying to a challenging 190 after being sent in before bowling aggressively to bundle Bangladesh out for 140.
“We’re very happy. As a batting unit and as a team, we said we wanted to be aggressive [and] we wanted to be positive, and it goes to show,” Brathwaite said.
“All three games we batted superbly and obviously in the two games we blew them away. We had 91 [runs] in the first six [overs] and 88 in the first six — you don’t get that every day.
“But with our power and with our skillset, we believe if we do the right things and show the right intent, more often than not we can get off to starts such as that; and we’re also wary that if it doesn’t come off, that we need to bat well and keep that intent going.”