Haynes backs Campbell, but wants competition for places
Lead selector, Most Honourable Desmond Haynes threw his support behind opener John Campbell, and felt the left-hander has forged a strong partnership with Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite that has helped to ease some of West Indies’ worries at the top of the order.
Campbell scored an unbeaten half-century and averaged 68 in the two-Test series against Bangladesh that ended this past Monday in St Lucia, batting well in tandem with Brathwaite who averaged exactly 50.
Together, they posted stands of 44, 1, 100, and 13 unbroken, with the last partnership formalising a straightforward 10-wicket victory in the second Test at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground.
“You can see that he is very determined, he wants to do well,” Haynes told a media conference on Wednesday. “The way how he and Kraigg bat together, they tend to bounce off each other.
“We’ve given John a run, and we’re hoping he will continue. He looks the part to me. One or two [dismissals] against Bangladesh were a little bit unfortunate… but apart from that he has given us some good starts, something we weren’t getting years ago.
“We were either 15 for three or five for three, and so far, we’re getting some starts, and I think that John is actually trying to get a score. He’s doing well, he’s working on his game, and I think he’s performing fairly well.”
Overall, Campbell averages 26 from 20 Tests after making his debut three years ago, and he is yet to score a hundred, despite getting three half-centuries.
One of the positions that came under scrutiny in the Bangladesh series was the No. 3 spot, where the inexperienced Raymon Reifer struggled scoring only 35 runs from three innings.
Haynes said it was important selectors continued to create a culture of competition for places in the West Indies top order, so there were always options available.
“I believe Reifer has got the ability to bat in any position in the West Indies team, but then we have Shamarh Brooks there who we’ve tried as well,” Haynes said.
“We don’t really write off anybody. The selectors, we’ve always felt that what we want to create in the West Indies team is that we want to have a lot of people fighting for one position, and I think when you look at it, we’ve got people fighting for the No. 3 position.”
He continued: “And not only the No. 3 position, but in our batting from one to five. We want guys that when they’re playing for West Indies, they’re looking over their shoulders and seeing there are one or two other guys that if they don’t do well, are going to fit into their position.”
“The same thing applies to the opening spot. We have young [Tagenarine] Chanderpaul in the dressing room with the players all the time because we want to create that kind of competition among the players, so that guys would be aware of what they have to do when they get out there in the middle.”