COLOMBO—Head coach Graeme West believes West Indies A’s resounding success in the one-day series against Sri Lanka is testament to the quality of players in the Caribbean first class system, and a reminder of the importance of playing more cricket outside of the region.
The one-day side whitewashed the hosts 3-0, producing a series of dominant batting displays to win every game comprehensively, and compensate for the four-day side’s 2-1 defeat in the preceding unofficial “Test” series.
And West said once the development shown during the series here continued, the pool of players from which the international squad was selected, would be significantly enhanced.
“It goes to show they are a number of players that are emerging from the first class franchise system and they need to have opportunities to play overseas, to play against quality opposition, to kind of assess where they are at and also to develop their skills and broaden their range of method, in order to be able to support the current players that are in the senior team,” West said.
“If we can develop a stronger pool of players to supplement what we currently have, it starts to put a little bit more pressure on those players who are currently in position [in the senior side], and when injury or loss of form come along, then there are more players who are able to step up and perform to a good level that will produce positive results.”
West Indies A started impressively, routing Sri Lanka A by 165 runs in Dambulla and followed up with a 109-run victory in the second game in Karunegala, after piling up a stunning 347 runs.
The visitors won a rain-hit contest on Sunday, pulling off an eight-run win under the Duckworth/Lewis method, as they once again went past 300.
Opener Kyle Hope, captain Jason Mohammed and Andre McCarthy all managed hundreds while the exciting Rovman Powell slammed a pair of half-centuries.
“It was a great achievement. In the three games we played, we had some outstanding performances from many of the players from many of the players in the squad,” West said as he praised the side’s performance.
“Certainly [in the final game] McCarthy coming into the team and scoring a fantastic hundred was one of the highlights and it just goes to show the depth and quality we had in our squad.”
He continued: “It was good to play three one-day games. It gave the guys a good opportunity. Certainly the success in the one-day games came from our batting posting big scores. In games two and three, we went pass 300. That allowed the bowlers to build pressure.
“In the second game, a lot of dismissals were caused by Sri Lankan batsmen having to force the game or take an extra run.” West said what was impressive was the ability of the squad to acclimatise quickly and easily to the foreign conditions.
“I think we adapted to the conditions here very well,” he noted.
“The guys didn’t have a great deal of time to settle in and no practice games but I think the batting unit in the one-day games was key.”