Windies looking to home advantage
West Indies batting coach Toby Radford said Thursday the regional side would try to make home advantage count in the upcoming Twenty20 series against Pakistan, as they attempted to make amends for their dismal showing last September.
Just seven months ago, the reigning Twenty20 World champions found themselves on the end of a humiliating series whitewash in the United Arab Emirates as Pakistan convincingly won the three-match series on ‘home turf’.
However, with much more familiar conditions expected, Radford said he was anticipating a change in fortunes.
“I think the big thing when we played out there is we found that the pitches were particularly slow and obviously suited their spin bowlers and they made very, very big boundaries and made us run a lot,” the Englishman pointed out.
“So hopefully the wickets will be a lot quicker here, more of what we are used to. We are used to playing on these surfaces and when you are on your home patch, everyone is really up for playing and wants a win so hopefully we’re going to get a lot of good support as well but I’m very much ready for a good show from everyone.”
The four-match series opens on Sunday at Kensington Oval before heading to Trinidad and Tobago for the last three games at Queen’s Park Oval.
West Indies have been in training since they assembled on Wednesday and Radford said everyone looked in fine form.
“We had a good session this morning and all the batters looked in really good touch which is encouraging,” he said.
“There’s one big game coming up in Barbados this weekend and then it’s off to Trinidad for three games there. It will be a really exciting series and hopefully they’ll put in a really good performance.”
While the side will be without the likes of T20 stars Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell, it includes other big names like batsmen Kieron Pollard and Marlon Samuels, along with leg-spinner Samuel Badree.
Selectors have also opted for first-timers Jonathan Carter, Jason Mohammed and Veerasammy Permaul coming on the heels of their good form against England in the recent one-day series, and the move is one Radford endorsed.
“Carter and Jason Mohammed played very well in the 50-over tournament recently against England and I think it is great their form has been recognised by the board and they’ve been given an opportunity in this format as well,” he pointed out.
“Kesrick Williams bowled very well in the UAE against Pakistan; he bowled very straight – if they missed he hit – he mixed his pace up well.”
Radford continued: “I think it’s an exciting team, a mix of real talent that’s been there and done it, and some youngsters who show real quality and I think putting those together, I would love to see [West Indies] put some good performances together.”