Cricket Sports

Adams backing ODI success in Sri Lanka, says fitness a core value

Director of cricket, Jimmy Adams, believes West Indies can overcome the challenge of foreign conditions and come away with a series win against Sri Lanka in the three-match series starting in Colombo on Saturday.

West Indies have never won a one-day series in Sri Lanka and suffered a 3-0 whitewash on their last tour there five years ago.

“I’ll be anticipating positive results. I think we have a fairly strong squad even though they are in conditions that are not typically West Indian,” Adams said.

“Even when taking into consideration they (Sri Lanka) are playing at home which one always has to consider, I’ll be looking forward to positive results from the lads down there.”

West Indies lost their opening warm-up match in Colombo on Monday, going down by two wickets to a Sri Lanka Cricket XI.

They take on a Sri Lanka Board President’s XI on Thursday in their last tour match before facing a strong Sri Lanka side in the opening One-Day International.

The Kieron Pollard-led West Indies have been boosted by the return of left-hander Darren Bravo, who struck a hundred in Monday’s warm-up match, and includes stylish opener Shai Hope who was one of the leading scorers in ODIs last year.

Left-arm spinning all-rounder Fabien Allen has returned to the side while the in-form Nicholas Pooran has overcome injury to make the trip.

Adams said the tour represented a chance to continue preparations for the 2023 World Cup in India, noting it was important players made the most of opportunities.

“I think we have an abundance of talent in Sri Lanka at the minute,” the former West Indies captain said.

“On top of talent, I think the team is coming together nicely and it’s something we want to start making strides towards and that’s getting a really strong core group of players.

“On top of getting results, we want to start identifying a strong core group of players who can represent well in the next World Cup in 2023.”

He added: “So we have to bear that in mind – not at the expense of winning – but a lot of the players [on the current side] will be looking forward to making that journey or be in the mix in two to three years time.”

Left-handers Shimron Hetmyer and Evin Lewis, two of the side’s most aggressive players, were both axed from the squad for the series after failing fitness assessments.

And Adams said fitness would remain one of the bedrock values upon which West Indies hoped to build a successful international unit.

“We’ve gone through the process of laying the foundation which includes making sure players have the information and the support and are quite clear on the values that we want to incorporate into our game,” Adams explained.

“And we’re standing beside those values because we think that the team we want to build is really going to be built on those foundations – it has to happen.

“I don’t think anybody wants to be in a situation where players miss out because of that (fitness) but at the same time players have a responsibility to themselves and to the organisation to ensure they are cooperating and are part of the whole value system.

“I’m hoping that the two lads will turn it around very quickly, get themselves to an acceptable level and that we will see them back on the park sooner rather than later.”

CMC

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