Windies to use Afghanistan friendly to ‘fine-tune’ World T20 campaign
Colombo: The West Indies will play at full strength and look to get much needed practice when they face Afghanistan in their final warm-up match ahead of the ICC World T20 tournament.
The Windies suffered a nine-wicket defeat in the first warm-up game against Sri Lanka last Thursday at the Nondescripts Cricket Club. In that match they were without captain Darren Sammy, batting ace Chris Gayle and key allrounder Marlon Samuels.
However, the experienced trio is expected to line-up against the Afghans, in the match to be played at the Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club at the P Saravanamuttu Oval.
Sammy said the Windies will be looking for clinical performances in all departments as they prepare for the opening tournament match against Australia next weekend.
“It’s the last warm-up game before the tournament starts so everybody will be looking to fine-tune and be match-ready for the tournament. We see this as a very important game. As you saw, Afghanistan scored over 200 against Sri Lanka A so it should be a good chance for us to prepare ourselves,” Sammy said.
The skipper acknowledged that the Windies are superior to the Asians “on paper” and hoped that they could demonstrate it on the field of play. He noted that everything will be geared towards next Saturday night when they face Australia at the R Premadasa Stadium in Khettarama.
“We are hoping to put on a big score. We have players in the team capable of scoring 170 to 180-plus in that region and obviously the batsmen will be looking to get some confidence. The bowlers will be looking to put in a better display than they did against Sri Lanka, and as a team we will be looking to come up with the final XI.”
The Windies were kept indoors on Sunday as heavy rain accompanied by thunder forced them to cancel their afternoon training session. The players instead held a gym session, planning meetings and video analysis sessions.
Sammy was also clear to point out that the pitches in Sri Lanka so far appear to be similar to those in the Caribbean, but the ball tends to “slide on” rather than spin for the slower bowlers.