West Indies interim batting coach Floyd Reifer has dismissed concerns about the team’s batting line-up, ahead of the Test series against England, insisting the unit is more than ready to adapt to difficult conditions.
Despite the team widely being acknowledged as having a potent bowling line-up heading into the series, many have raised concerns about how the Windies will fare at the crease against experienced English bowlers and potentially damp, cold conditions.
The absence of the talented duo of Shimron Hetmyer and Darren Bravo, who opted out of the tour for health reasons, have done little to assuage those fears but Reifer, who was recently returned to the coaching unit, insisted the team’s hard work so far gave them a good chance of success for the upcoming series.
“I keep hearing everyone saying they are concerned about our batting. We have some experienced guys here and the boys have been working really hard,” Brathwaite told the Mason and Guest Radio programme.
“We understand the English conditions now. Young Hope and Brathwaite who were here before are now experienced players…” he added.
“What we have been working on is playing the ball late, in the Caribbean, our batters tend to go fairly hard at the ball but we are working on playing the ball as late as possible, and trying to leave alone as many deliveries as possible on top of the off-stump. It’s important when the ball is moving around you try to play as little as possible and rotate the strike. We have been having a lot of discussion on battling their spells and building innings.”
The Caribbean team will not need to look far for an example of its batting line-up struggling in English conditions than the first Test of the tour three years ago. After England made 514, the West Indies were dismissed for 168 and 137. (SportsMax)