Jermaine Blackwood performed the innings of the match to arrange West Indies’ win within the first Take a look at towards England, however he won’t have been within the aspect had Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer not opted out of the tour.
West Indies captain Jason Holder admitted he was “not sure” if Blackwood would have been picked, with the Jamaican having not began a Take a look at since 2017. However he mentioned the batsman, whose 95 took West Indies a lot of the approach in direction of their 200-run goal on the Ageas Bowl, was the “kind of guy you want to step on to a field with”, and praised his team-oriented strategy.
Blackwood has a superb record against England, averaging 55.00 from seven Assessments, and was chosen for the touring celebration after main the best way in West Indies’ home first-class competitors. Nevertheless, his path to a recall was smoothed by the absence of Bravo and Hetmyer, who joined Keemo Paul in declining to journey to the UK over considerations about Covid-19.
“Not sure, he had an outstanding first-class competition,” Holder mentioned of Blackwood’s case to play. “I’m not going to get into selection but his case was pretty strong to get back into the team, he scored a double-hundred this year in a first-class game. Unfortunately for me I haven’t been able to see him bat but his numbers speak for themselves. He’s no slouch with the bat at this level either in comparison to our players that we’ve got, he’s averaging above 30 and he’s done well for us. I just hope he can kick on and make a few more hundreds.”
5 extra runs would have given Blackwood solely his second Take a look at century (his first got here towards England in 2015), however he mentioned after the sport that non-public milestones had been a secondary concern and he was simply aiming to implement a plan to spend extra time on the crease than beforehand.
“I wasn’t thinking about the hundred at no point in time, I was just looking to get the score going and to get the team across the line,” he informed Sky Sports activities.
“Once I can go out there and I bat time, bat over 200 balls an innings, even 180, for sure I think I will score runs. I think all the hard work is paying off so far, so once I can go out there and just be my natural self and then just mix it with a bit of patience. I think that will certainly boost me for the next game and right through my career.”
Requested about Blackwood’s need to place the staff first, Holder mentioned he was the type of participant who needs to “carry everybody on his shoulders”.
“Jermaine Blackwood, man. If I had 12 Jermaine Blackwoods, those are the kind of guys you want to step on to a cricket field with. These are team guys, through thick and thin. I’ve played lots of cricket with and lots of cricket against [him], we played all our youth cricket together and played a youth World Cup together, so I know the player.
“That is why when issues occur like how they did within the first innings, yeah you are dissatisfied, however you’ll be able to’t put a participant like that into his shell. So it is extra about attempting to handle him and assist him attempt to perceive the completely different passages of play, the place he could be a little bit extra collective, the place he must settle and dangle in for a bit earlier than happening the assault once more. He’s an attacking participant, nevertheless it’s giving him that confidence and assist.
“He’s a humble team man, I know when he crosses the line he’ll give it his all. I’m not surprised by the comment he made because he is a team man. Sometimes he feels as though he can carry everybody on his shoulders. He’s that confident of a player.”
Blackwood ultimately fell driving to mid-off, in a lot the identical method as he had achieved within the first innings, when he managed simply 12 off 22 balls. Holder was reluctant to curb the attacking model of his No. 6, however urged him to “give yourself a good chance” second time round.
“After his first-innings dismissal I said nothing to it. He knew what he had done. And he knew that he’s a better player than what he did in the first innings, so there was no need to talk to him. I thought he was a very crucial guy for us in this run chase. Him and probably John Campbell – these guys when they get going score relatively quickly, and can really swing the tide for us, when they form partnerships, but obviously we lost John [retired hurt] up front.
“I simply mentioned to Jermaine, give your self an opportunity. Give your self a superb probability – see just a few balls after which play your recreation. For those who see a ball in your arc and you are feeling you’ll be able to put the ball away, put it away, as a result of that is the best way he performs. I do not wish to get into gamers’ heads and congesting their brains with an excessive amount of info. They’re all accountable sufficient, all of them know themselves nicely sufficient. We’re all simply right here to assist each other. A number of these guys within the dressing room assist me in vital methods.
“I don’t need to speak to Jermaine seeing how he got out in the first innings. He knew what he had done wrong – for him it’s just to go and give himself a chance and play the game he knows.”