WEST Indies wicket-keeper Joshua Da Silva said an unbeaten start to a hectic period for West Indies at home in 2021 will give the squad belief when South Africa, Australia and Pakistan all visit the Caribbean in the coming months.
Da Silva, who has now played five Test matches for West Indies, was part of the West Indies squad which played Sri Lanka in a two-match Test series. The series ended in a 0-0 draw on Friday.
Prior to the Test series West Indies got past Sri Lanka 2-1 in a T20 series, before sweeping the One Day International series 3-0.
Da Silva wants West Indies to continue its form against the visiting teams.
“Being unbeaten (at home) in 2021 so far (has been great). I am not sure how many times we could have said that before, but it definitely makes us a lot more confident going into these next series,” Da Silva told Newsday.
Da Silva batted three times in the Test series ending with efforts of 46, one and 20 not out. He had one blemish behind the stumps as he dropped a catch off fast bowler Shannon Gabriel in the second Test match.
Da Silva said he has to grab the opportunity by converting his starts moving forward.
“I don’t think I could have been more proud of what I have done so far in Test cricket. I definitely would have wanted to convert some of those forties into fifties and that 90 into a 100, but hopefully there are going to be a lot more opportunities to do that.”
In his career he has an average of 37.63 with two half centuries including a top score of 92 against Bangladesh.
Asked if he has done enough to cement a place on the West Indies for the upcoming series, Da Silva said, “I would like to think I have done enough, but it is all up to the selectors. If I am given the opportunity I will definitely take it and try and do my best, but it is definitely up to the selectors. I can’t really say if I am cemented or not.”
Giving his views on the Sri Lanka Test series, Da Silva thinks West Indies had a creditable showing.
“I don’t think we could fault any bowler or batsman according to the conditions. It was quite challenging for the bowlers. Overall I thought we had a very positive series, a lot of good things came out of it.”
Following the series West Indies head coach Phil Simmons said the wickets in the Caribbean need to improve to allow matches to have a result.
Da Silva agrees the wickets are generally “flatter” in the Caribbean.
“Coming into the Test matches we knew it was going to be a flat wicket. I don’t think it will be like that all over the Caribbean, but we need to have the home advantage since we are home so we need to have wickets that we know we could get results in our favour.”
Both matches in the Test series were played at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua. The wicket was conducive for batting.
West Indies all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall went into the series without a Test fifty, but ended the series with two.
Speaking about the performance of Cornwall, Da Silva said, “We know how hard he is working and we know the effort he puts in on the field, so when he does what we know he can do we are all very happy for him and we are very proud. He knows what he can do, so it is just for him to showcase his talent and when he does well we are in a very good mood.”
Da Silva, who also spoke about Jason Holder’s performance during the series, said the players enjoy each other’s success.