Thu | Aug 13, 2020

Brooks calls for improved Windies batting

Published:Monday | July 6, 2020 | 12:13 AM
Shamarh Brooks plays a shot during day three of a West Indies warm-up match at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, on Thursday.
Shamarh Brooks plays a shot during day three of a West Indies warm-up match at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, on Thursday.

SOUTHAMPTON, England (CMC):

Right-hander Shamarh Brooks reiterated the importance of Windies’ batsmen pulling their weight in the upcoming #RaiseTheBat Test series against hosts England, especially after inconsistent performances in the two recent warm-up matches.

The tourists’ batting has developed a reputation for being unpredictable and is expected to come under scrutiny in often difficult English conditions, against seamers James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

“The guys have been working very, very hard,” Brooks, who has played three Tests since making his debut a year ago, said. “We know the English bowling attack is a good one [but] once we bat well, I think we have a very good chance.

“Spending time at the crease will be key and as long as we apply ourselves, spend some time out there, it will get easier. We need as a batting unit to stand up in this series and make the difference.”

Front-line batsman provided some reassurance in last week’s three-day ‘inter-squad’ fixture at Old Trafford as opener Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Brooks and wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich all struck half-centuries.

CHANGE IN FORTUNE

There was no such enterprise in this week’s four-day game, however, with Brathwaite, Hope, opener John Campbell and Roston Chase all managing only single digits in their only knock.

Captain Jason Holder, Test cricket’s top-ranked all-rounder, struggled with nought, five and two in his three innings.

In contrast, the Caribbean side’s pace attack looked sharp and aggressive and Brooks said it was critical the batting unit backed up the bowlers.

“Clearly, our bowling will be our strength, and has been for the past couple of years. If you look at our batting, when we do get it right as a unit we have won games,” he pointed out.

“That’s why I’m stressing on the point that we need to bat well, especially against a team like England at home, who are going to be very challenging.

“The coach, I guess he would feel that way because of what he saw in the last game, where the bowlers really raised the intensity and we (batting) fell down.

“But I still don’t feel that when we come to the Test series, it will go that way. We need to apply ourselves, stick to the basics and stick to our game plans.”

The Windies arrived on England’s south coast on Friday to finalise preparations for the opening Test starting Wednesday, after spending just over three weeks at their ‘bio-secure’ Old Trafford facility in Manchester.

They engaged in training and net sessions while undergoing a two-week quarantine, before turning their attention to the two practice games.

First Test – July 8-12 @ The Ageas Bowl, Southampton.

Second Test – July 16-20 @ Old Trafford, Manchester.

Third Test – July 24-28 @ Old Trafford, Manchester.