Haynes backs ‘determined’ Campbell to shine

West Indies opener John Campbell reacts after winning on the fourth day of the first Test against Bangladesh at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, on Sunday. (Photo: AFP)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Chief Selector Desmond Haynes has thrown his support behind opener John Campbell and believes the left-hander has forged a strong partnership with Captain Kraigg Brathwaite which has helped to ease some of West Indies’ worries at the top of the order.

Campbell scored one an unbeaten half-century and averaged 68 in the recently concluded two-Test series against Bangladesh, batting well in tandem with Brathwaite who averaged exactly 50.

Together, they posted stands of 44, one, 100, and 13 unbroken, the latter partnership formalising a straightforward 10-wicket victory in the final Test in St Lucia earlier this week.

“You can see that he is very determined, he wants to do well. The way how he and Kraigg bat together, they tend to bounce off of each other,” Haynes told a media conference on Wednesday.

“We’ve given John a run and we’re hoping he will continue. He looks the part to me. One or two [dismissals] against Bangladesh were a little bit unfortunate… but apart from that he has given us some good starts, something we weren’t getting years ago.

“We were either 15 for three or five for three and so far we’re getting some starts, and I think that John is actually trying to get a score. He’s doing well, he’s working on his game, and I think he’s performing fairly well.”

Overall, Campbell averages 26 from 20 Tests after making his debut in 2019, but is yet to score a century despite getting three half-centuries.

One of the positions which came under scrutiny in the Bangladesh series was the number three spot in which the inexperienced Raymon Reifer struggled, scoring just 35 runs from three innings.

And Haynes said it was important selectors continued to create a culture of competition for places in the West Indies top order so there were always options available.

“I believe Reifer has got the ability to bat in any position in the West Indies team but then we have Shamarh Brooks there who we’ve tried as well,” Haynes explained.

“We don’t really write off anybody. The selectors, we’ve always felt that what we want to create in the West Indies team is that we want to have a lot of people fighting for one position, and I think when you look at it, we’ve got people fighting for the number three position.

“And not only the number three position, but in our batting, from one to five. We want guys that when they’re playing for West Indies they’re looking over their shoulders and seeing there are one or two other guys that if they don’t do well are going to fit into their position.”

He continued: “The same thing applies to the opening spot. We have the young [Tagenarine] Chanderpaul in the dressing room with the players all the time because we want to create that kind of competition among the players so that guys would be aware of what they have to do when they get out there in the middle.”

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