West Indies assistant coach Roddy Estwick said that his team acknowledged that they had a bad opening match against England in the ICC men’s T20 World Cup and had a chat about the same. He added that his job in the team is to ensure that the players remain confident and believe in their own abilities.
West Indies had an awful start to their title defence as they were skittled out for 56 by England and lost the match by six wickets on Saturday. They now face South Africa in Dubai on Tuesday, where either of them will get their first two points of the tournament.
“Well, one bad game doesn’t make a summer. We realize we had a bad game. We’ve had a chat about it. The players had some volleyball yesterday to help them to relax to try, to try to build some team spirit. But we’re about to have a practice session now. The one thing you can do is, once you lose a game you can look for all the excuses in the world,” said Estwick in the pre-match press conference on Monday.
“You can nitpick all you want. You’ve got to back the players. Our job is to get the players up, make sure they remain confident, make sure they still believe in their ability. Make sure the dressing room is still a happy place and let them go enjoy the game of cricket because that’s why they started playing,” added Estwick.
Estwick acknowledged that there was no hiding from the fact that West Indies had an abysmal performance with the bat against England. “We can’t hide behind the fact that we didn’t bat well. It doesn’t matter who played. As a batting unit, we didn’t do well enough. We didn’t do ourselves justice. And to start with, if you’re going to get bowled out in 14 odd overs in a T20 game, it just tells you that we didn’t bat well enough.”
Speaking about the rationale of Gayle coming at three instead of his usual opening position, Estwick commented, “Chris is very experienced. If you look at a lot of the teams, they want to bowl their spinners. And we felt that at No. 3, it gives him a chance to have a matchup against the spin attack. Chris has been a wonderful server for West Indies cricket. We still expect great things from him, but he also has a lot of in terms of addressing the room and helping the younger players.”
“What people tend to forget as well is Chris offers a spin option. If you look at when we played against Australia, Chris bowled really well. So there’s a lot of roles that Chris has to play within the team. Just don’t look at the performance. Look at in the past, he’s done very, very well at the World Cup level. And I’m sure before the tournament is finished he will do well again.”
Estwick signed off by saying that Tuesday’s match against South Africa in Dubai is going to be a very important one for the West Indies. “But we’ve got to bounce back. We’ve got to work hard to get that right. And that’s going to be very important for us. We’ve got to make sure that whoever walks on that park is ready, is prepared well enough to go and execute the skills, and have enough confidence in their own ability to do what is needed.”