Cornwall omission could come back to haunt West Indies - Jack Mathew

By August 22, 2019
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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  • Cook backs Silverwood to bring clarity to England's Test side Cook backs Silverwood to bring clarity to England's Test side

    Alastair Cook has full confidence in the ability of new England coach Chris Silverwood to revamp the Test side, starting off with the tour of New Zealand.

    England face New Zealand in a two-match series later in November, having already won a five-match Twenty20 series 3-2 thanks to another super over triumph against the Black Caps.

    Several of England's star players, such as Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Test captain Joe Root, were not included in the T20 squad, allowing them more time to recover following the World Cup and Ashes.

    Silverwood, meanwhile, has replaced Trevor Bayliss, and Cook has no doubt he is the right coach, and Root the right captain, to lead England into a new era of Test cricket after frustrating performances in recent series.

    "New Zealand is a good place for Chris Silverwood and Joe Root to start a new cycle," former England skipper Cook told ESPNcricinfo.

    "It's only a two-match series, which is a bit of a shame, as their recent history has brought some cracking matches. You feel a long way away from everywhere, it doesn't have the hype of an Australia or India series, but they are a brilliant side, and it's a great but tough place to play cricket.

    "Clarity, that is one thing [Silverwood] will bring. He's very clear on what he wants and it's very simple what he wants. The players will know, they'll be very well prepared, they'll know exactly what he demands of them."

    Cook also believes Silverwood's "hands-on" approach will benefit Root, whose captaincy was called into question throughout the Ashes.

    "He'll be a real helping hand for Joe Root, taking a lot of pressure off Root in terms of off-field stuff," Cook said.

    "Trevor was a very hands-off coach, and he had a lot of success, but there are different ways of skinning cats, and you can see that Joe needs that support around him. That's quite obvious, and Silverwood and his team will give a bit more than Trevor did.

    "I'm not saying that's right or wrong, but I think that's what will happen. I think we'll see the next stage of Root's England captaincy career.

    "Looking back on my [time as captain], I think I took two and a half years to feel totally comfortable in the role, in terms of what you know, what you want from the side, and how you go about all the extra demands.

    "Root is at that kind of stage, I think he'll bat at No. 4 again, and I'm expecting another spike from him."

  • It was a long time coming – Shai Hope says West Indies suffered long for series win It was a long time coming – Shai Hope says West Indies suffered long for series win

    West Indies opening batsman Shai Hope played no small part in getting the regional side their first series win in five years.

    The batsman, who scored an unbeaten 77, 43, and 109 not-out, said the regional side were at pains to earn a series win and that achieving a whitewash a day after his birthday was special.

    “It was a long time coming. We've been waiting for this series win for a long time, so it felt good,” said Hope.

    For the series win and the eventual whitewash to come to reality, Hope explained he had to take the responsibility of batting the team into good positions.

    “Someone had to put his hand up and bat through the innings,” he said.

    “Felt good to be able to do it. It's just about reading the situation, and as long as someone batted through, we were always going to win the game," said Hope.

    The West Indies completed a whitewash over Afghanistan with a five-wicket win in Lucknow, India.

    Afghanistan, having the best game of the three-match series, scored 249-7 in their 50 overs thanks to Asghar Afghan’s 86 and Hazrafullah Zazai’s 50, Mohammad Nabi, 50, and Najibullah Zadran, 30, but found they were still outgunned after the West Indies cruised to 253-5 in 48.5 overs.

    The West Indies total was anchored by Hope’s 145-ball knock. Hope reached the boundary eight times and went over it on a further three occasions and was ably supported by debutant Brandon King, who scored 39, Nicholas Pooran, 21, Kieron Pollard, 32, and Roston Chase, 42.

  • Pollard thanks team for showing ‘venom’ Pollard thanks team for showing ‘venom’

    West Indies captain Kieron Pollard is of the belief that the regional side has venom in them and needed to show it against Afghanistan, something they achieved after a 3-0 whitewash in their One-Day International that concluded on Monday in Lucknow, India.

    "We are thankful to God for giving us this opportunity,” said Pollard.

    “We came here with a mission and specific roles for players, and all the players deserve credit,” he said.

    “Winning is a habit, and anything that we want to do as a team is a process, and it's something we had to improve in a period of time,” said Pollard.

    According to the new captain, the team took the chance to show how aggressive they could be and urged them to make that way of playing cricket, habitual.

    “This was an opportunity for us to show we have that kind of venom inside us. We knew we had to rally as a team, and we proved we can bat 50 overs, and once we do that, we can win games,” he said.

    The West Indies destroyed Afghanistan over a three-game ODI series, winning the first by seven wickets thanks to Shai Hope’s unbeaten 77 and Roston Chase’s 94 before claiming a series-winning 47-run victory, this time courtesy of Evin Lewis’ 54 and Nicholas Pooran’s match-saving 67.

    In the final game, playing with Brandon King and Keemo Paul in the line-up, the West Indies restricted Afghanistan to 249-7 despite 50 from Hazratullah Zazai and 86 from Asghar Afghan. In reply the West Indies scored 253-5 with Chase scoring 42, King, 39, Pollard, 32, and Hope, an unbeaten 109.

    Despite Hope’s knocks, Chase was named player of the series.

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