SPORTS

Blackwood Now The Top Ranked Windies Batter

Jermaine Blackwood, the 29-year-old Jamaica and Windies aggressive lower-middle order batsman, has turned up the heat in his cricketing career in 2020.

He made his Test cricket debut for the West Indies against New Zealand in June 2014 and had faltered along the way, but 2020 had been a productive year for the former Holmwood Technical High school Headley Cup cricket captain.

In March 2020, in round eight of the 2019–20 West Indies Domestic Competition, Blackwood scored his maiden double century in first-class cricket, with 248 runs against the Leeward Islands.

He was the leading run-scorer in the tournament, with 768 runs in eight matches.

His return to the Windies Test side after a two-year hiatus saw him in the first Test of the series, against England top-scoring with a match-winning 95, helping his team win the match by four wickets.

Blackwood garnered 211 runs at an average of 35 to be the only Windies batter to pass 200 runs in the aggregates in the three-Test series.

The no-nonsense batter scored 216 runs at an average of 54 and was again the only real bright spot in West Indies’ 2 nil loss to New Zealand in the two-match Test series in November.

In the first Test against the Black Caps, he scored 104, marking his second Test century in what many claimed as hostile batting conditions.

Blackwood was selected to the ESPN Cricinfo test team of the year.

And he is now the highest-ranked West Indian batsman in the game’s longest format.

He has scored 427 runs at an average of 42.70 in test cricket in 2020 and has climbed the list to be ranked at number 33.

Jason Holder, the Windies highest-ranked batsman, has fallen to 43rd, with Shane Dowrich 53, Shimron Hetmyer 58, and Kraigg Brathwaite 61 also experienced negative shifts.

Shamarh Brooks 67, Roston Chase 69, John Campbell 71, and Shai Hope 72 remained unmoved.

Darren Bravo dropped to 79th to round out the West Indians in the top 100.

Meanwhile, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson with an average of 87 in 2020, ends the year as the number one test batsman, with Virat Kholi second and former leader Steve Smith dropping to third.

Jason Holder remains the top-ranked Caribbean test bowler in the bowling department at 11, while Kemar Roach moved up one place to 13th.

The top three of Pat Cummins, Neil Wagner, and Tim Southee remained unmoved.

Holder is still the number two all-rounder in Test behind England’s Ben Stokes.

Nigel Bell, Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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