Assistant coach Vasbert Drakes has underscored the importance of execution as West Indies go in search of a series-levelling win in the pivotal second Twenty20 International of the three-match series in St Kitts tomorrow.
The hosts lacked in almost every department in Tuesday’s opener which they lost by four wickets, falling short of a competitive total after batting first, and then dropping as many as four catches in a loose fielding and bowling effort.
Speaking ahead of the contest at Warner Park, Drakes said the Windies’ knowledge of the small ground would be crucial in their match strategy.
“We have to execute our game plan very well,” the former West Indies all-rounder told reporters.
“Obviously a lot of the guys would have played at this ground, certainly during CPL so the guys are pretty familiar with the conditions – with the wind factor and the short boundaries – so certainly our game plan and our strategy will be targeted towards that.
“We pretty much have a good idea of what we’re looking to do in these conditions and come tomorrow, the objective is to execute.”
West Indies are unbeaten in six outings at the venue, having won five and having the other match abandoned due to rain.
England, meanwhile, have never played an international match at the ground but Drakes said in the shortest format, such factors were minor considerations.
“It certainly does help that we would have played in these conditions more often than the opposition but on the given day, we’re playing a T20 game and it’s all based on the execution of the game plan,” he pointed out.
“So come tomorrow, with the guys continuing to be focused and up for the challenge, it should be an exciting game.”
West Indies managed only 160 in the first match at the Darren Sammy National Stadium in St Lucia, with Nicholas Pooran top-scoring with 58.
The only other batsman to shine was Darren Bravo who chipped in with 28, adding 64 for the fourth wicket with Pooran after the Windies lost three early wickets.
West Indies fielders then put down Jonny Bairstow twice as the opener rode his luck to lead England’s run chase with 68.
Drakes said the Caribbean side were aware that improvements were necessary.
“I just thought we were probably 20 runs short but having said that, we created a lot of opportunities on the bowling front but we never really took our opportunities in the field,” he noted.
“On reflection, we know we are capable of playing better cricket than that.”
Obed McCoy has been called up to replace Andre Russell, who has failed to take the field since joining West Indies’ squad before the last two ODIs when a long-standing knee problem flared up.
England had a look at McCoy last month when he turned out for the University of West Indies Vice Chancellor’s XI in their limited-overs warm-up in Barbados but the 22-year-old left-arm fast bowler may have to wait for his T20I debut, with West Indies expected to name an unchanged side.
England’s David Willey has had limited opportunities to showcase himself on this tour, bowling just two overs in the first T20. He conceded 20 runs in that time, but managed to contain Chris Gayle well with the new ball.
Tom Curran, Chris Jordan and Adil Rashid bowled superbly in the series opener and it will be interesting to see how they are deployed this time around as England look to refine their thinking as they work towards their 15-man World Cup squad, due to be named next month.
Teams – West Indies: (probable) 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Nicholas Pooran, 3 Shai Hope (wk), 4 Darren Bravo, 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Jason Holder (capt), 7 Carlos Brathwaite, 8 Ashley Nurse, 9 Fabian Allen, 10 Sheldon Cottrell, 11 Oshane Thomas
England: (probable) 1 Alex Hales, 2 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 3 Joe Root, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Joe Denly, 6 Sam Billings, 7 David Willey, 8 Tom Curran, 9 Liam Plunkett, 10 Chris Jordan, 11 Adil Rashid
The match bowls off at 4 p.m.