Head Coach Andre Coley said the West Indies “A” team tour of South Africa was important to defining and developing the depth of talent in the red ball formats The team, led by wicketkeeper/batsman Joshua Da Silva, left on Tuesday for a trip on which they will play three “Tests” against South Africa “A” between 21 November and 8 December in Benoni, East London, and Bloemfontein.
“It will give us an opportunity to boost our red-ball opportunities outside of the Caribbean. Earlier this year, we went to Bangladesh, and we did well there, and now we are going to another part of the world – South Africa,”
Coley said in an interview with CWI Media.
“It will give us an opportunity to explore the brand of cricket that we want to play. Our next international assignment is in Australia, and six months after that we go to England, so this A team is positioned to offer red-ball playing opportunities on the back of the just-concluded CG United Super50 Cup.”
“The South Africans are a team that wants to play a specific way, and they always look to challenge you, but they respect our players. The pitches have offered pace, have offered bounce, so you will have pitches on which you can trust the bounce.”
“Players can, therefore, express themselves, whether they are batting or bowling, but it has never really been a place where the spinners have excelled, so it’s also an opportunity for our spinners to learn to be effective in those conditions, and I am looking forward to being there.”
Coley added that the main objective was to come away from the trip with wins under the team’s belt, but there were other goals that would be equally important for the development of the West Indies squad.
“You learn to win over time. We want to see our primary batsman scoring loads of runs, as well as the all-rounders and bowlers averaging above 20 or 30 and building lower order partnerships, that will help to expand our batting options,”
“Once we are able to tick the boxes that we have agreed upon, 75 per cent or more of what we have aimed for, that will help to define success.”
Tevin Imlach the other wicket-keeper/batsman was named the vice-captain and the squad includes five players with senior Test experience – Da Silva, left-handers Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Kirk McKenzie, and fast bowlers Jayden Seales and Shermon Lewis.
Three players that made their first-class debuts this year were also named in the squad – batsman Kevlon Anderson, fast bowler and fellow Guyanese Shamar Joseph, and spin bowling all-rounder Abhijai Mansingh.
FULL SQUAD: Joshua Da Silva (captain), Tevin Imlach (vice-captain), Kevlon Anderson, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Kavem Hodge, Akeem Jordan, Shamar Joseph, Shermon Lewis, Jair McAllister, Zachary McCaskie, Kirk McKenzie, Abhijai Mansingh, Jayden Seales, Kevin Sinclair
Team Management: Andre Coley (Head Coach), Dwain Gill (Team Manager), Jimmy Adams (Assistant Coach), Shaun Tait (Assistant Coach), Barrington Gayle (Physiotherapist), Asia Joseph (Strength and conditioning Coach)
21 to 24 November: vs South Africa “A” at Willowmoore Park, Benoni
28 November to 1 December: vs South Africa “A” at Buffalo Park, East London
5 to 8 December: vs South Africa “A” at Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein