Windies aim to outgun opponents with pace at World Cup qualifier

Harare, March 3 : West Indies chief coach Stuart Law believes his team’s pace attack will play a crucial role during the ICC World Cup qualifier as the opponents are not used to facing top-class fast bowlers.

The likes of Kemar Roach, Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Rovman Powell, Kesrick Williams can bowl with a speed exceeding 135 kmph. And Law expects them to torment the opposition as the erstwhile kings of international cricket aim to qualify for the 2019 World Cup.

“Our quicks are a bit more capable of getting the ball up at high speed, which the Associates don’t probably get to see a lot of and this is something that we can use to our advantage. As the event will progress, the wickets will spin more and we have quality spinners as well,” Law said in a ICC release on Saturday.

West Indies have slow bowlers like leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, left-arm spinner Nikita Miller and off-spinner Ashley Nurse.

“The strength of lot of Associate teams is based around spin and the quicks they have seem to be pretty reasonable as well. We can’t just go out and blast and dominate against these attacks. We have to be a little smarter to go about it,” he said.

“Our bowlers have been consistently taking wickets upfront and we have a good mix of off-spin, left-arm spin and leg-spin. I think it is a well-balanced attack that we take into each game.”

Law also said his side will have to be smarter in approaching the tournament, which will produce two sides that will complete the 10-team line-up for next year’s World Cup, to be played in England and Wales.

West Indies have been clubbed with the Netherlands, Ireland, Papua New Guinea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Group A. They will open their campaign against the UAE, the side which nearly beat them in the second warm-up match on Thursday.

“It is not going to be making 300 plus and then bowling teams out. It is going to be working out how to get to 180 to 220 and then deciding how to get the 10 wickets. To be honest, the wickets (in the warm-up matches) weren’t as conducive as we want to play and so just have to come up with different ways to go about it,” he pointed out.

“We do target 300-plus as we found in New Zealand, that’s probably a benchmark score these days in One-Day Internationals. Here, we have to lower that target just to make sure we are safe to play better cricket or make better decisions out in the middle and get the job done.”

Law, who played one Test and 54 ODIs for Australia from 1994 to 1999, valued the presence of stalwarts like Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels and Nikita Miller in the side saying it was up to the youngsters to observe and learn from these players.

“You can’t buy experience on a shelf. You need these guys in these tough conditions to stand up as well and guide the youngsters through the difficult periods,” he said.

“Then it is just up to the younger or less experienced players to listen, heed the advice and carry forward into their game.”

/IANS

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