West Indies’ dismal opening performance in the first of three One-Day Internationals matches against Australia is a clear indication that the regional side will need to show more fight going forward, says former Barbados fast bowler Pedro Collins.
Captained by Kieron Pollard, West Indies slumped to a 133-run defeat against the visitors at Kensington Oval on Tuesday night. Collins, along with National Sports Council cricket coach Donovan Lovell, believes that the Caribbean men need to show more consistency in their batting.
“I think we have fallen short in our batting. Obviously, Australia is a powerhouse team whether they have all the stars or not, they are still Australia. This is a team you have to beat,” Collins told Barbados TODAY.
“I think that the guys need to show more fight. They need to spend more time in the middle with a lot more balls, concentrate for longer periods and build more partnerships together. We didn’t do that last night in our batting.
“The batsmen need to come together and discuss a plan, how they are going to get 250 plus runs on the board. There are a lot of balls in 50 over cricket and you don’t have to give away your wicket. Most of the time just build partnerships and trust each other,” the former West Indies pacer said.
Collins advised the team to go back to the drawing board and come stronger as he believed they have what it takes to get the job done.
“Know your partner’s strengths, weaknesses, and if the bowler is giving one batter trouble, rotate the strike and I think if our guys do that as a collective bunch we could score runs. So, the guys need to go back to the drawing board and come back again. I believe we have what it takes to do it. We have some fellows with the ability and confidence,” he added.
One of the better left-hand seamers to play for the West Indies, Collins gave his stamp of approval to the consistency being shown by the bowlers. He also shared how impressed he was to see young fast bowler Alzarri Joseph and leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr perform so well with the ball.
“I’m very pleased with the bowling for these last couple of games. The bowlers have been stepping up, they just need the support of the batsmen. They have a lot of young talent in the bowling department and it is good to see that you can rotate players and players can come out and do the job for the team.
“I saw young Joseph come out and bowl well. I am happy for Hayden Walsh Jr. He puts in a lot of work and he is a very promising guy, a very coachable person. I am really happy that he is able to get results. It goes to show if you put in the hard work, you will get success. I thought that the bowling unit did a wonderful job. I hope they continue to do so and to get Australia under 300 runs in a 50 over game is a really good effort,” Collins explained.
Lovell noted that consistency was lacking right now in the West Indies batting department. At the same time, he encouraged the men in maroon to stay positive.
“If you look at some of the dismissals, there were deliveries that were really not that threatening and I found some of our batsmen were tentative. We still have to remain confidence and the shot selection still has to be good. Obviously, we need to put together some scores with some consistency.
“With the new ball and Australia bowling which is pretty good, Hazelwood and lads like that you have to watch them a little more. But the pitch at the Oval is normally a good one, it is bouncy and has something for the bowlers and once you are patient enough and your shot selection is good enough you can still score,” Lovell said.
Like Collins, Lovell also gave his vote of confidence to the West Indies. “Once we are playing in our backyard, normally we do well and I am confident that we can bounce back and we can win the other two on the trot.
“But as I said we have to remain positive, stick to our game, shot selection and if the bowling is challenging as it will be you just have to be more patient. I know the guys can do it, I believe in them because we have a lot of world-class players and I am more than confident we can win the series and bounce back 2-1.”