Head Coach Stuart Law believes the reason for Windies’ ongoing struggles in the one-day format are predominately due to being “caught between Test cricket and T20”.
Reigning World T20 champions, Windies produced a shock win on their ongoing tour of England when they beat the hosts in the second Test at Headingley before eventually losing the series 2-1. In the 50-over format, however, Windies are trailing the five-match series 0-2 and head into the must-win fourth game on the back of a heavy 124-run beating in Bristol.
While the second fixture of the series was washed out, a defeat in the opener at Old Trafford ended their hopes of grabbing the last-available spot for a direct entry in the 2019 World Cup. Two-time champions in the 50-over format, Windies now have to take the Qualifier detour early next year – a 10-team event from where only two progress for the mega-event in Britain. The Caribbean side had also missed out on a spot 2017 Champions Trophy for being outside of the top-eight in ICC’s ODI rankings.
“We’re not quite playing at the tempo that suits one-day cricket,” Law told reporters at The Oval on the eve of the fourth ODI, on Tuesday (September 26), “We are caught between Test cricket and T20 cricket – of course we’re very good at T20 cricket and we’re ever-improving in the Test match arena,” added Law.
“This is the arena we need to make sure we start grabbing hold of and we start understanding, particularly with what we’ve got coming up early next year,” he added.
Despite what the defeat margin of the Bristol ODI might reflect, the visitors were in the contest early on led by Miguel Cummins mid-overs burst where he accounted for three wickets, including the key scalp of Joe Root. Windies then let the hosts off the hook as Moeen Ali slammed a brisk century to power England to a formidable total of 369. Veteran opener Chris Gayle tried to keep his side in the contest with a stroke-filled knock worth 94 but that didn’t prove enough. Law said it isn’t all doom and gloom for his side.
“There are some good signs,” said Law. “Even though Moeen Ali had a day out the other day, I thought Miguel Cummins bowled very well, taking three wickets. With the bat, we’ve seen glimpses of what Shai Hope can do in white-ball cricket, Chris Gayle obviously has a fantastic record and is an imposing character on the cricket field. We just need a little bit more from the rest of our top order and a little bit smarter batting through that middle period.”