Phil Simmons and Kraigg Brathwaite back Joshua Da Silva to return to form against Sri Lanka

By November 15, 2021

West Indies coach Phil Simmons and Captain Kraigg Brathwaite have both backed wicketkeeper/batsman Joshua Da Silva to return to form during the upcoming two-Test series against Sri Lanka later this month.

In nine Tests, the 23-year-old Trinidadian has scored 372 runs at an average of 23.25 and has two half-centuries to his credit. He made his debut against New Zealand in Wellington in December 2020, making 57 in the West Indies second innings.

Scores of 42, 20, 92 and 20 followed against Bangladesh in February this year as well as 46 against Sri Lanka in March.

The 42 was made in the first innings of the first Test at Chattogram during a 99-run sixth-wicket stand with Jermaine Blackwood and his second innings 20 was made in a 100-run sixth-wicket stand with Man of the Match Kyle Mayers.

In the second Test at Dhaka, Da Silva made 92 and featured in a sixth-wicket partnership of 88 with Nkrumah Bonner which was followed by a seventh-wicket partnership of 118 with Alzarri Joseph, notwithstanding that latter’s contribution of 71 as the West Indies secured a 2-0 series win.

Since that time, Da Silva’s form has dipped significantly.

He had scores of 1 and 20 in the second Test against Sri Lanka in March and followed in June with a disastrous series against South Africa against which he had scores of 0, 9, 7 and 0 and then 21, 13, 6 and 15 against Pakistan in August.

However, his form away has been more encouraging averaging 39 while his home average is just under 14.

Asked during a recent press conference, asked whether he was concerned about the form of his wicketkeeper, who has played major roles in match-winning partnerships in Bangladesh earlier this year, Simmons said the good news is that Da Silva seems to bat better away than at home.

“A dip like that is always a concern but his away form is a lot better than his home form so we hope that that is not a coincidence and that that is a strength of his, so we are away now and hopefully he lives up to how he started the year. Hopefully, he finishes the year like that,” Simmons said.

Brathwaite, meanwhile, believes Da Silva would see a return to form with the right type of support from the team's leadership.

“He has been doing a superb job in times before with some very important partnerships. One of the keys to situations like this, for me, is making sure you have good communication with him, just let him know that he can do it, it’s as simple as that and for him to believe in himself,” Brathwaite said.

“I know he is fully capable of doing well. Obviously, we all go through little slumps. We all still learning as players but I think he has been putting in some good work and we look forward to him doing well.”

 The first Test begins at the Galle International Stadium on November 21.

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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