What next for the Soca Warriors?
I suppose that the answer to that question is more complicated than losing a football match or even a regional tournament.
Roddy Estwick, the West Indies U-19 coach, has challenged his batsmen to step up if they intend to overcome Australia in the ICC World Cup quarter-finals today. Estwick said his side’s loss to South Africa exposed frailties in the line-up as they crumbled for 104, chasing 199. Though West Indies posted over 270 against Zimbabwe and Canada, Estwick sees room for improvement.
“We started off terribly against South Africa,” he said. “But after that, we batted first and lasted the entire 50 overs and we hope to continue like this against Australia. Before we left the Caribbean, we knew we weren’t doing well batting-wise and that’s still a challenge. We need to spend more time in the crease, build big partnerships and get top scores from the people in the top four [positions].
“We’re doing some work in the nets in the short space of time we have and we have gotten accustomed to the conditions here,” he said. “Our batsmen need to play what they see and not what they expect. Take it one ball at a time.” Estwick said Australia were not as strong a side as in the past and was confident West Indies would be able to hold their own. “Watching the scores, the games they played and such, they’re not playing spin as well as other Australian teams so once we focus on this as well as our game, and we concentrate on keeping our discipline, we’ll do well,” he said. Australia lost to Afghanistan, were beaten by Zimbabwe and Pakistan in the warm-ups and before that came to the tournament on the back of a difficult tour of Sri Lanka.
Having played their first game in Dubai, Estwick counted on the advantage of familiar conditions to challenge Australia, who are yet to play at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. “It was colder in the earlies but now it’s getting hotter and pitches are moving from green to drier,” he said. “Balls are moving around more too and this showed when we played Canada at Abu Dhabi. We have adjusted to the heat and also in case the pitch loses liveliness.”