Stuart Law, the Windies coach, suggested on Tuesday (September 26), that his side’s struggles in One-Day Internationals were down to being “caught between Test cricket and T20”.
Windies, the reigning World Twenty20 champions, head into the fourth ODI against England at The Oval on Wednesday 2-0 down in the five-match series, with one no-result. They have now lost 14 of their last 15 completed ODIs against England, with defeat in the series opener at Old Trafford ending their hopes of automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup.
“We’re not quite playing at the tempo that I think that suits one-day cricket,” said Law. “We are caught between Test cricket and T20 cricket – of course we’re very good at T20 cricket and we’re ever-improving in the Test match arena. This is the arena we need to make sure we start grabbing hold of and we start understanding, particularly with what we’ve got coming up early next year (the World Cup 2019 qualifiers).”
Windies suffered a heavy 124-run defeat, with nearly 11 overs to spare, in the fourth ODI in Bristol on Sunday. Yet, they were in the contest early on, with Miguel Cummins taking three wickets including the prize scalp of Joe Root, before Moeen Ali’s 102, which featured eight sixes, powered England to 369 for .9
Chris Gayle, one of the most destructive batsmen in white-ball cricket, then showed he had lost none of his six-hitting ability by carrying the boundary six times in an innings of 94 before he was run out.
“There are some good signs,” said Law, who played 54 ODIs for Australia. “Even though Moeen Ali had a day out the other day, I thought Miguel Cummins bowled very well, taking three wickets.
“With the bat, we’ve seen glimpses of what Shai Hope can do in white-ball cricket, Chris Gayle obviously has a fantastic record and is an imposing character on the cricket field. We just need a little bit more from the rest of our top order and a little bit smarter batting through that middle period.”
Cummins missed training on Tuesday with a virus that Law said had been going through the squad since Headingley, although he stressed it was just a “precautionary” move.
Meanwhile, Ben Stokes, who made 73 on Sunday, has been suspended for Wednesday’s match after he was arrested for a late-night bust-up in Bristol following the third ODI. England have also dropped Alex Hales, who was with Stokes on Sunday night.
Law, however, insisted, “It doesn’t really matter which personnel they put out there, we know it’s going to be a tough fight. Regardless of who puts a shirt on and plays in the opposition, we know we have got to play a lot better than we have done.”