Inconsistent batting a concern for Walsh
St John’s – Head coach Courtney Walsh said the inconsistency of the West Indies Women’s batting was a concern, as the squad gets ready to take on New Zealand Women in three One-day Internationals and five Twenty20 Internationals, starting on Friday in Antigua.
Walsh said he was “happy with the balance of spinners and seamers” in the squad and expressed confidence that they could hold their own, even in the absence of the side’s leading bowler and “world-class” off-spinner Anisa Mohammed who is on a six-month break from duty.
Windies Women will be without leading batsman Deandra Dottin, who announced her retirement from international cricket on July 31, and the head coach made the point that “you don’t replace players (like her) overnight”.
“Hayley (Matthews), Stafanie (Taylor) with their experience and other batters, there are a number of batters there, but no one is showing that level of kind of consistency,” the former West Indies men’s pacer said during a virtual media briefing.
Identifying Kyshona Knight, Chedean Nation, and Natasha McLean as among those he hoped will show their mettle, Walsh added: “There’s a fair amount of batting around, but we want to see other people taking on the responsibility of being consistent, and I think that’s what has been lacking in this team for the last couple of seasons, and this is a chance now for people now to put their hands up.”
The head coach said the absence of stalwarts Mohammed and Dottin, who have done extremely well in the last year has left “a major void that is never going to be easy to fix or fill”.
He, however, said it was a chance for others to come to prominence.
“I think … it gives some other persons some opportunity to sort of establish themselves and develop their own play,” he said. “So, I’m (looking at) the positive side.
“Yes, we’re going to miss those two – whenever you have experienced players of that quality, you’re going to miss them – but I’m hoping that others step up to the plate, and we can get that level of consistency from them … So, it’s giving other players the chance and I’m hoping they grab it with both hands.”
The Windies Women, to be led by Barbadian all-rounder Hayley Matthews, will play their first ODI on Friday at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
Walsh said he was expecting the players to fully support the Barbadian who took over in June.
“She has been very good so far, she’s been tremendous, and all the players have responded very well to her, they’re giving her the support and the coaching staff has been giving her all the support that we can,” he said, expressing the hope that the upcoming series will give her more confidence.
“She’s been doing everything that has been asked of her. She has just been taking on this responsibility and that’s very good to see.”
Walsh said Matthews had also been receiving tremendous support from her predecessor Taylor.
A 17-member provisional squad was announced on Monday that included recalls for wicketkeeper-batsman Natasha McLean and off-spinner Sheneta Grimmond.
A match day squad of 13 players will be selected ahead of each of the three ODIs, and the team will then play a five T20Is from September 25 to October 6.