West Indies assistant coach Roddy Estwick acknowledged that his side’s inability to latch on to ‘big moments’ and close out games in the World Cup has resulted in them missing out on a semi-final spot.
West Indies began their World Cup brightly, with a seven-wicket win over Pakistan, whom they rolled over for 105. But that remains their only win of the competition heading into their ninth and final game. In the interim, they have competed well, and even come close to defeating some of the top sides in the tournament, such as New Zealand and Australia, but have come up short, largely due to their inability to sustain their brilliance.
“Looking back over the eight games that we played, I personally thought that we should have won four of those,” Estwick said ahead of the match against Afghanistan on Thursday, July 4. “We were very, very close. We just didn’t play the big moments well. And, hopefully, we can learn from that and move forward and plan for the next one.
“The boys on the bus were still playing dominos, the spirit in the dressing room was tremendous. And that can only serve us well going forward.”
West Indies’ opponents in their final fixture, Afghanistan, have been unable to muster a single win in eight straight games. While he was happy with his team’s overall performance, captain Gulbadin Naib said that he expects more out of his batsmen, urging them to produce longer stints in the middle.
“If we played 50 overs, especially in the batting, so it’s all depending on our batting strength. So if you’ve not batted well, maybe it’s difficult for all bowlers to defend a small total,” he said.
“If you put a good total on the board, it’s difficult for the other team. So, hopefully, tomorrow we can, especially for the batters, if they can put a good total on the board, maybe it’s easier for us to win the game.”
Naib also admitted that there has been an overdependence of the spinners throughout the tournament. While he praised them for trying their best even on flat tracks, Naib hoped that Afghanistan can find a dependable pacer to complement the spin trio in the future.
“Spinners are doing their job, but sometimes they didn’t give you a hundred per cent in the match,” he said. “So it depends on the wickets. Example is Rashid Khan, he is one of the best spinners in the world recently. But the wickets sometimes he didn’t expect the ball turning or not turning.
“Hopefully, in the future, we can find a good fast bowler. And I’m hoping so I’ll be working on it.”