Walsh happy to be part of Windies plans despite tough year - looks to bounce back in upcoming T20I series

By Sports Desk May 21, 2021

West Indies leg-spinner, Hayden Walsh Jr, admits he is eager to put a difficult year behind him, with solid performances in the upcoming series of T20 internationals.

The 29-year-old was named as part of a preliminary 18-man squad that recently began preparations to face South Africa, Australia, and Pakistan in a flurry of upcoming T20 internationals. 

The group was named with preparations for the T20 World Cup in mind, which is slated for India later this year.  Despite not featuring in a number of matches for the regional team this year, he was one of 18 players offered an international retainer contract.  Chief of selectors Roger Harper went on to explain that the player’s status as the only quality leg-spinner, in the region, prompted the selectors to include him in the team’s retainer plans.

The player suffered from misfortune last year after being forced to pull out of the tour to Bangladesh, after testing positive for Covid-19.

 “I’ve been having a tough year so far, so the fact that I am still in the plans and I still have a lot to work for, it’s still a good feeling,” Walsh said in an interview with the Antigua Observer.

“I started out the year testing positive for Covid, which ruled me out of the Bangladesh series, which I was really looking forward to. I came back to the Super 50 and I didn’t really do as well, mainly because I’ve been in isolation and I didn’t have any preparation,” he added.

 “If that did not happen, then I probably most likely would have been around the T20 and One Day squads against Sri Lanka, so I feel like I’ve missed out a lot.”

 

Related items

  • 'Crossing third was a huge relief' - Barbadian Olympic medallist Obadele Thompson recalls joy of snatching elusive medal 'Crossing third was a huge relief' - Barbadian Olympic medallist Obadele Thompson recalls joy of snatching elusive medal

    Barbadian Olympic bronze medallist, Obadele Thompson, has revealed that he was overcome with a sense of relief after crossing the line third at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

    The historic bronze medal was the first for the sprinter and first for Barbados as an independent nation, but the sprinter had battled through his fair share of disappointment prior to securing the breakthrough.

    Before that, Thompson had finished outside of the medals at the previous four major games (3 World Championships and 1 Olympics) and even before that fourth at the World Junior Championships in 1994.

    Finally, though, his hard work did off in Sydney.

    “Crossing third was a huge relief.  I had placed fourth at so many other championships.  I came fourth at the World Youth Championships, fourth in 1996, in the 200, when Michael Johnson set his amazing world record.  I came fourth the year before, in 1999, in the 100m and 200m,” Thompson told SportsMax.Tv’s InCaseYouMissedIT.

    “To be able to cross the line and finally know I was going to be on the podium was a big deal, and to know that Barbados, never seen our flag raised at a global championship of that magnitude before was an amazing feeling,” he added. (Watch full interview below)

    Still, the former athlete, as tends to be the case, admits that he also felt some amount of disappointment as the results of the race could have been even better.

    “It was also disappointing, I knew I was in better shape, coming to the Olympic Games with an injury that I sustained about six weeks before and I had to come off the European circuit after running really well in the 100m.  The only person that was beating me was Maurice Green,” Thompson said.

    “Having to leave the circuit, dealing with the injury, and not knowing if I would be able to compete, it was also a blessing to have made it down that track.”

     

     

  • South Africa 17-22 British and Irish Lions: Gatland's side roar back to win gripping first Test South Africa 17-22 British and Irish Lions: Gatland's side roar back to win gripping first Test

    The British and Irish Lions roared back in the second half to beat South Africa 22-17 in a gripping first Test at Cape Town Stadium.

    Four penalties from Handre Pollard, playing his 50th Test, gave the Springboks a 12-3 half-time advantage as the struggling Lions were made to pay for indiscipline.

    Luke Cowan-Dickie crashed over early in the second half, but a somewhat contentious Faf de Klerk try extended the world champions’ lead.

    Dan Biggar took his tally from the tee to 14 points with a couple of penalties to put Warren Gatland’s side in front for the first time with 18 minutes to play and Owen Farrell put them five points up late on.

    The Springboks had two second-half tries ruled out and they could not provide a late twist, with Pollard missing a penalty and conversion attempt.

    The tackles flew in and high kicks galore were sent up in a frantic start and the Springboks struck a psychological blow when they had the better of the first scrum.

    Pollard put the world champions in front with a 13th-minute penalty and he doubled their advantage to punish Tom Curry for a late hit on livewire fly-half Faf de Klerk.

    Biggar got the Lions on the board soon after with a great strike from long range midway through a breathless first half, but another two clean strikes from the tee from Pollard made Gatland's side pay for yet more indiscipline with relentless South Africa winning the battle.

    The Lions struggled at the lineout and Biggar pulled a penalty wide, while Elliot Daly was just short with a shot at goal from inside his own half before Willie le Roux kept his side nine points in front late in the first half with a great tackle on a charging Robbie Henshaw.

    South Africa came out after the break with a new front row and they were pushed back by an unstoppable driving maul only three minutes into the second half, with Cowan-Dickie touching down and Biggar adding the extras.

    Le Roux had a try ruled out for offside moments later, but TMO Marius Jonker was in the spotlight again when he saw no issue with a score awarded to De Klerk, which the Lions thought should have been overturned for a Pieter-Steph du Toit knock-on.

    Biggar's penalty made it a one-point game and the fly-half put the Lions in front with another clean strike from the tee.

    Pollard had failed to convert De Klerk’s try and he missed a penalty after Hamish Watson was fortunate to escape without a card for a tackle on Le Roux.

    There was further drama when Damian de Allende’s try was chalked off for offside with eight minutes to go and the Lions clung on to take a series lead following a late Farrell penalty.

  • Sri Lanka v India: T20I form a worrying case for hosts to solve in Colombo episodes Sri Lanka v India: T20I form a worrying case for hosts to solve in Colombo episodes

    Sri Lanka will be hoping a win in 50-over cricket can trigger a white-ball resurgence as they prepare to take on India in a three-match T20I series, beginning on Sunday in Colombo.

    Half-centuries from Avishka Fernando and Bhanuka Rajapaksa helped Sri Lanka win the third and final ODI between the nations on Friday, just their second win in 11 outings.

    They have struggled in T20 action too, winning just once in their previous 13 completed fixtures. Home advantage should help, yet they have not triumphed at the R. Premadasa Stadium – the venue for all three of the upcoming fixtures against India – in the shortest format since August 2018.

    Runs were hard to come by on the recent tour of England, including being bowled out for 91 in the final match as the hosts completed an emphatic 3-0 sweep at the Ageas Bowl.

    Sri Lanka at least avoided that fate against India in one-day action, aided by a turning track on Friday that allowed their spinners to trigger a batting collapse – the tourists lost their final seven wickets for just 68 runs following a rain delay.

    They could also be boosted by the return of Wanindu Hasaranga, who missed the final ODI due to an injury concern.

    India, meanwhile, remain without a number of their star names, so these games provide crucial opportunities for fringe players as they look to impress, particularly as this is a World Cup year.

    Pushing the boundaries

    Sri Lanka have hit a boundary once every 7.7 balls faced in the powerplay overs since the beginning of 2020 in T20I action, the worst rate for any team in that period. 

    India have the third-slowest rate, taking 5.6 balls for every boundary. Captain Shikhar Dhawan will hope to help lower that number as he continues to lead the team, while Prithvi Shaw could get the chance to stake his claim for a regular top-order spot.

    Positive spin can help India

    Varun Chakravarthy could finally be handed his international debut in the series. India appeared keen to pick the mystery spinner against England in the T20I series on home soil earlier this year, yet concerns over his level of fitness ruled him out of contention.

    The 29-year-old is a compelling option, though. He has taken 25 wickets in 21 matches in the Indian Premier League, 17 of which came in a 2020 campaign for the Kolkata Knight Riders that saw him finish with an economy rate of 6.84 runs per over.

    Key series facts

    – India are unbeaten against Sri Lanka in multi-game bilateral T20I series (W3 D1). India have beaten Sri Lanka in each of the past three such series, the most recent meeting being in January 2020.

    – Sri Lanka have one win from their past 11 completed T20I matches against India (L10). The solitary triumph was achieved in March 2018 when the Lions beat the Men in Blue by five wickets at the very same venue this match is being played.

    – Since the beginning of 2020, only 43 per cent of the runs scored by Sri Lanka in men's T20I matches have come via boundaries, the lowest rate for any team in that period.

    – Dasun Shanaka has a batting dot ball rate of 48 per cent in T20I matches since the beginning of 2020. Only two players have a higher rate than the Sri Lankan (Chris Gayle at 53 per cent and Andre Fletcher at 51 per cent, minimum 100 balls faced).

    – Bhuvneshwar Kumar needs five wickets to reach 50 in T20I action for India. He will become the fourth player to achieve this feat for his country, with his career-best figures seeing him take 5-24 against South Africa in 2018.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.