Estwick forecasts Pooran Test debut
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
West Indies assistant coach Roddy Estwick wants to see highly regarded left-hander Nicholas Pooran playing the longest format within a year.
The 25-year-old has so far only played international white-ball cricket for West Indies, but Estwick said the Trinidadian was a “tremendous player” who possessed the ability to excel in Tests.
“I saw him at age 17 play one of the best innings I’ve probably ever seen, in Sharjah in the 2014 [Under-19] World Cup,” Estwick said ahead of West Indies’ departure for the tour of New Zealand.
“How exciting was that, carrying the team on his own and making  out of 208, and it just shows you what a tremendous player he is, and he’s just gone from strength to strength.”
Pooran has emerged as one of the West Indies’ most consistent batsmen of recent in One-Day Internationals, where he averages 49 from 25 matches.
Ironically, he made a duck on his debut last year January against England but went on to hit 105 half-centuries en route to averaging 44 in the calendar year.
His form has prompted calls from legendary former players like Michael Holding for his inclusion in the Test team, despite having played only three first-class matches six years ago.
Estwick, who was head coach of the West Indies Under-19 squad at the 2014 ICC event in the United Arab Emirates, said the quality of Pooran’s preparation made him the ideal candidate for the longest version.
“What I like about him is his preparation – his attention to detail,” Estwick said.
“He’s a hard-working guy, and he wants to learn, he wants to talk, he wants to discuss cricket, and for any young man, that’s the way forward.
“My dream would be to see Nicholas Pooran playing Test cricket within the next 12 months because I think he is that good where he can play all formats of cricket.”
Pooran has been named in the Twenty20 squad for next month’s three-match series against New Zealand and is expected to join the Caribbean side after fulfilling his commitments to Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
White-ball captain Kieron Pollard, Test captain Jason Holder, Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul, and Oshane Thomas are all also campaigning in the IPL and will also join the touring party in New Zealand afterwards.
West Indies will also play two Tests against the Black Caps in the tour, which runs from November 27 to December 15.
The Caribbean-based players departed the region on Tuesday.