New-look Windies hunt pos­i­tive start

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

HARARE, Zim­babwe (CMC): EMERG­ING PLAY­ERS are ex­pected to jos­tle for per­ma­nent places as West Indies launch a fresh ef­fort to re­vive their cricket for­tunes on the heels of back-to­back se­ries losses which cli­maxed on a high with a rare Test tri­umph over Pak­istan.

West Indies are play­ing Sri Lanka in the se­cond match of a One Day In­ter­na­tional (ODI) Tri-se­ries se­ries at Harare Sports Club with things sched­uled to get started at 2:30am.

Miss­ing from the re­gional squad are bats­man Marlon Sa­muels, wick­et­keeper De­nesh Ramdin, all-rounder Kieron Pol­lard as well as Dar­ren Bravo, who was axed for an out­burst on Twit­ter, crit­i­cis­ing the WICB pres­i­dent.

Their ab­sence clears the way for the likes of bats­men Evin Lewis, Ja­son Mo­hammed, Shai Hope and wicket-keeper bats­man Shane Dowrich to step-up.

“Most of the guys are in a good frame of mind. We have a few guys here who have come away from that re­cent Test tour and have been in the one day side,” said Cap­tain Ja­son Holder af­ter yes­ter­day’s train­ing ses­sion at the Harare Sports Club.

“We have some new faces and new en­ergy. So it’s a sit­u­a­tion where we need to ride on that and use that as a mo­ti­va­tion. Ev­ery­body is hun­gry for suc­cess.”

Sri Lanka have al­ready drawn first blood in the se­ries af­ter eas­ily dis­pos­ing of Zim­babwe by eight wick­ets with 153 balls re­main­ing in the open­ing match on Mon­day.

MIS­ER­ABLE TOUR

The Windies are hop­ing to open the se­ries on a tri­umphant note, in­spired by their re­cent Test win over Pak­istan, which ended a mis­er­able tour of the United Arab Emi­rates in which they lost se­ries in all three for­mat­sTest, ODI and T20 In­ter­na­tion­als.

“We had a re­ally good se­ries ear­lier in the year with Aus­tralia and South Africa and then just fal­tered a lit­tle bit against Pak­istan in UAE,” re­called Holder.

“I think ev­ery­body here [their], mind is fresh. We had a good chance to re­view and look back at our mis­takes and our short­falls and in the pre­vi­ous one days. So I ex­pect a re­ally good con­test to­mor­row from our guys against Sri Lanka.”

Sri Lanka, like West Indies, are also short on ex­pe­ri­ence and are ex­pected to rely on cap­tain Upul Tha­ranga, who has 189 matches to his credit as well as Kusal Per­era’s.

The young in-form bats­man Dhanan­jaya de Silva could prove cru­cial in the se­ries.

Opener John­son Charles with 44 ODIs to his name is the most ex­pe­ri­ence bats­man for West Indies but the likes of Hope and Dowrich who have been in good nick with the bat lately are ex­pected to use the se­ries to ad­vance their claim.

The Sri Lankans are said to be fa­mil­iar with Zim­bab­wean con­di­tions, but the West Indies play­ers have had an op­por­tu­nity to carry-out their own as­sess­ment as well.

The Caribbean side held a full train­ing ses­sion yes­ter­day morn­ing.

“The con­di­tions are not too bad. From what I have seen, The net pitches are a bit on the slow side but un­til I have got­ten to the mid­dle I would just have to as­sess and see how it goes,” said Charles.

MO­HAMMED

DOWRICH

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