SPORTS

Windies Coach Estwick — “We Have To Be Prepared To Fight”

West Indies bowling coach must be an unhappy man because the hard work which is supposedly put in has not yielded any win since the Windies touched down in New Zealand in November.

The team lost the three-match T20 series 2-nil and is currently one down in the two-match Test series — the second and final Test is set to get underway at Wellington on Thursday (Wednesday night Caribbean time).

The West Indies were defeated by an inning and 134 runs last weekend at Hamilton in the first Test.

This result comes against a pre-match talk of “our pace attack can challenge any team.”

Unfortunately, the much-touted battery of pace bowlers sputtered, allowing New Zealand batters to pile on the runs — 519-7 declared.

However, speaking on the eve of the second match, Estwick said the team had honest and frank discussions, but the time had come for the players to back themselves to deliver when it matters.

“The talking has to stop. We have to go out and stay in the contest, stay in the fight,” Estwick said.

He appealed to players to up the ante with their game for the Caribbean people.

“We have got to be ready. The game in Hamilton is gone; we have to look forward to this one in Wellington. We are representing eight million people back in the Caribbean,” he said.

Although New Zealand is a good team, Windies cannot afford to roll over and die, he noted.

“We can’t just roll over and say New Zealand is a good side, and we are not going to fight, and we’re going to lay down and let them run all over us. Once we can stay in the contest, we have a chance.”

Estwick said the team had to improve in all areas when play begins in Wellington.

“We have to be prepared to work hard. The bowlers have to be prepared to bowl long spells, a lot of overs; the batsmen have to be prepared to bat for a very long time. This is Test cricket, this is one of the better teams in the world, and you have got to be prepared to do those things.”

The 58-year-old assistant coach emphasized that there is no hiding place in Test cricket, and players must be prepared to fight all the way.

“If you’re not prepared to do these things, then you’re going to play T20 cricket, but you have to be prepared to scrap and fight and battle and really represent. Put a price on your wicket, put a price on every ball you bowl, put a price on every ball you field, put a price on every ball you catch.”

“There is no other way; there is no hiding place in Test cricket.”

Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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