Coley eyes development as key objective in West Indies A tour of South Africa

By Sports Desk November 15, 2023
Andre Coley Andre Coley

Head Coach Andre Coley welcomed the West Indies A team tour of South Africa as a significant assignment to not only define, but more importantly, develop the region’s depth of talent in the longer formats of the game.

The Joshua Da Silva-captained team will engage their South African counterparts in three Tests between November 21 and December 8.

“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. It will give us an opportunity to explore the brand of cricket that we want to play,” Coley said in an interview with CWI Media.

“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 Super50 Cup,” he added.

Coley, who is also Head coach of the senior West Indies Test side, is no stranger to South African conditions, having guided a Kraigg Brathwaite-led squad on last year’s tour.

“The South Africans are a team that want 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,” Coley reasoned.

“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,” he noted.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Da Silva will have Tevin Imlach as his deputy in a squad that also boast the experience of left-handers Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Kirk McKenzie, as well as fast bowlers Jayden Seales and Shermon Lewis.

Kevlon Anderson, fast bowler Shamar Joseph, and Jamaican spin bowling all-rounder Abhijai Mansingh, are also in the squad.

Coley, a former Jamaica wicketkeeper-batsman, pointed out that while the main objective is to come away from the tour victorious, there are other goals that are equally important for the development of the West Indies squad.

Coley will be assisted by former West Indies captain Jimmy Adams and former Australia fast bowler Shaun Tait.

 “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,” Coley said.

“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,” he ended.

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