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Monday 23 October 2017
Cricket

Ex-WI pacer expects improved showing in limited-overs series

Former Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies fast bowler Tony Gray is expected an improved showing by the regional team in their limited-overs series against hosts England.

Both England West Indies will square off in a lone T20 International on Saturday, followed by five One Day Internationals, from September 19-29.

Gray, in a recent telephone interview, said, “The 50-over game will bring more of a competitive edge by the West Indies team because the shorter the game gets, the better our team gets... less concentration, more instinctive.

“I expect that series to be highly competitive and I expect us to do well in the T20 (and 50-over) games,” Gray noted.

The West Indies were beaten 2-1 in the three-Test series. England won the First Test at Edgbaston, Birmingham by an innings and 209 runs but the WI replied with a five-wicket win at Headingley, Leeds. However, England won the decider, by nine wickets, at Lord’s, London.

“We did perform well in the Second Test match,” said Gray. “It was a remarkable turnaround. It seems that West Indian players, in this day and age, play with a chip on their shoulder, in fact a chip on their body because after being criticised firmly by iconic players of the game for losing that First Test within three days (and) 19 wickets falling (on) the last day. It seemed we performed better, we had something to prove.”

Gray continued, “When those things happen, we performed much better.”

About the Third Test, Gray noted, “The conditions at Lord’s were really advantageous to the seamers and the ball swung all over the place. What you saw was quality bowling from (James) Anderson and (Stuart) Broad, and we struggled.”

Overall, when asked about the Test series, Gray responded, “A lot of them have to be acquainted with the English conditions first of all. If you don’t have proper technique initially, in your own cricketing environment, you’re going to struggle.

“I thought that Shai Hope, for example, made the necessary adjustment. He seems to be mentally strong, he’s got great technique (and) an unflappable personality that you’ll want in (a) Test series. I thought that Shannon Gabriel and (Kemar) Roach bowled very well. We’ve been doing well with the bowling department but we’ve struggled with the batting.

“I thought that (Shane) Dowrich has to improve a lot because his footwork is not good and his glovework would not be good. Overall, we had a good century from (Kraigg) Brathwaite at the top of the order. Those things are good. We lost the Test series but we weren’t expected to win a game, and we did. So I could be pretty pleased with that, especially when young players are playing in an environment which would be very challenging to them,” ended the 54-year-old Gray.

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