“We, as a batting unit, need to stand up in this series”
ꟷ says Shamarh Brooks
By Brandon Corlette
The West Indies Test batsmen have been unable to score a century after two intra-squad practice matches. Although their performances in practice matches will not determine their scores when ‘the real deal’ begins, having runs under the belt is always a confidence-booster.
Reserve wicketkeeper-batsman Joshua Da Silva was the lone centurion after those matches.
Responding to a question posed to him by Guyana Times Sport in his virtual press conference on Saturday, West Indies batsman Shamarh Brooks noted that the Test batsmen have been working very hard.
“As I said before, the English bowling attack is a good one; but once we bat well, I think we have a good chance (of overcoming it). I also said before that spending time at the crease is key, and as long as we play ourselves in and spend some time out there, it will get easier.
“We are not putting down the English bowlers. We, as a batting unit, need to stand up in this series, and I know that will make the difference,” Brooks explained.
Brooks noted that the team has had enough time to prepare for the big Test, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The Barbadian has opined that this series is of great importance to cricket viewers around the globe; but while West Indies Assistant Coach Roddy Estwick has been worried about the batting in the practice matches, Brooks remains unfazed.
“Some of us got the opportunity to bat. It is still a batsman-and-bowlers game. Our bowlers bowled well, especially in the second match. The Test bowlers bowled well, and they proved vital. That’s the game sometimes, despite preparation is key; but we are backing our preparation to bring success into the series,” Brooks posited.
He also highlighted that the inclusion of Shannon Gabriel is a big boost to the team.
Speaking about Jofra Archer, Brooks said he is not surprised to see what Archer has achieved thus far in his career. When Archer helped England win the World Cup, Brooks noted, Barbadians were proud to see what he had achieved; but, at the same time, they regretted not having him play for the West Indies.
Brooks also explained that the West Indies bowling has been the team’s strength over the past few years. “When we do get it right as a batting group, we win cricket games. We need to apply ourselves, and stick to the basics along with our game plans,” Brooks explained.
Sir Everton Weeks, who passed away recently, had played a role in this batsman’s success over the years. “He would always be there in the President’s Suite, and it is sad that a great man has gone; and hopefully, the guys in the team carry that legacy,” Brooks has said.
Brooks disclosed that the late Sir Everton had always told him to get close or far from the ball while playing it on the ground. “That definitely played a big part in my success,” he declared.
Slated to bat at number three or four for the West Indies, Brooks has one century and one half-century in the three matches he has played.
However, focused as he is, the 31-year-old is ready to go and do the job for the West Indies when the ball gets rolling on Wednesday, July 8.