Ahead of a massive One Day International test against India, West Indies assistant coach, Roddy Estwick, is an optimistic man.

The West Indies beat Afghanistan 3-0 in their last ODI series, but in truth, the Caribbean side have faced very lean times whenever they have played the 50-over game.

Despite winning just nine of the last 25 ODIs they have played in 2019, assistant coach, Roddy Estwick believes there are signs the West Indies are ready to make things interesting.

Estwick was speaking ahead of the start of the ODI series against India, saying the West Indies have shown they have the quality to challenge top sides and have combined that with the work ethic to make it stick.

“It’s exciting times for us. When you look at somebody like (Shimron) Hetmyer, (Nicholas) Pooran, Shai Hope – we’ve got young batsmen who are developing,” he said during a press conference, pointing to the talent in the West Indies middle order.

“But the key thing is how you prepare, if you’re prepared to work hard and you’ve got a benchmark in Virat Kohli – somebody who you will see in the gym and will work very, very hard, and once our ­players can learn from players like that, then we’ve got a chance because without hard work there’s no success, and hard work is boring but it gives you great success,” said Estwick.

“Once they can learn and keep working, keep dealing with the process, then they’ve got a chance.”

Estwick also pointed out that there must be some patience when thinking about those young players and the way they have been performing recently.

Ross Taylor accepts Australia are in a dominant position after three days of the first Test, yet the New Zealand captain is hoping the Black Caps' spirit can save them in Perth.

Eleven wickets fell on day three as Australia - 167-6 at stumps in their second innings - took a 417-run lead to establish firm control of the day-night encounter.

The Black Caps began the day on 109-5, with Taylor unbeaten on 66, but they were all out for 166 before lunch.

Australia were then 131-1 second time around, but Tim Southee (4-63) and Neil Wagner (2-40) helped stage a fightback to leave the home side six wickets down, and Taylor believes New Zealand will take heart from their display in the final session.

"There's still a long way to go in this Test match, but I thought the fight that we showed as a team, especially in that last session, bodes well for the rest of the series," Taylor told reporters.

"We're a long way behind the game at the moment, but if we can show the fight that we've shown in the last series, I think it will give the team a lot of confidence coming over here."

Taylor went on to add: "Any time you're going to chase 350, 400 on a wearing wicket, it's going to be tough.

"But at the same time we'll see what Australia do tomorrow and hopefully we can take that [declaration] out of their hands and wrap it up.

"Throughout the last few years, the strength of this side is the fighting spirit. Regardless of what happens, we want to fight and fight right to the end.

"It's a strange game, cricket, and the way Australia bowled at us in the first innings - they bowled fantastically well. But it's a time for us to step up as a batting unit and show what we can do. Not only showing what we can do but getting our confidence up as well."

When New Zealand bat again, they will do so knowing Australia are a bowler light after it was confirmed Josh Hazlewood will not bowl for the remainder of the Test due to a hamstring injury.

That did not seem to bother Australia first time around, though, and opener Joe Burns is keen for the hosts not to give their opponents a chance of a recovery on day four.

"Good position to be in," Burns said. "Obviously it's still going to be tough, being a bowler down, but we're really happy with where we're at.

"A little bit disappointing to lose a few wickets tonight but in the grand scheme of the game, we're in a good position, in control of the game. Come out tomorrow, start well and keep driving it home."

Australia are in command of the first Test against New Zealand, despite collapsing in the final session on day three at Perth Stadium, after Marnus Labuschagne's purple patch with the bat continued.

Eleven wickets fell at Perth Stadium on Saturday, the excellent Mitchell Starc (5-52) claiming his 13th five-wicket Test haul as the tourists were dismissed for 166 in the first session - Ross Taylor making 80.

Australia were cruising with Labuschagne (50) and Joe Burns (53) at the crease, but slumped from 131-1 to 167-6 by the close, Tim Southee taking 4-63 and Neil Wagner 2-40.

Tim Paine's side, without Josh Hazlewood for the rest of the match due to a hamstring injury, remain in complete control despite that late flurry of wickets, leading by a mammoth 417 runs. 

The Black Caps had resumed in deep trouble on 109-5 and they were soon six down when BJ Watling chopped on to a sharp delivery from Pat Cummins.

Taylor added only 14 runs to his overnight total before edging Nathan Lyon to Steve Smith at first slip - and Colin de Grandhomme was caught by the former Australia skipper on 23 when he contentiously became Starc's fifth victim.

Third umpire Marais Erasmus upheld Aleem Dar's on-field decision to give De Grandhomme out despite it not being clear if the ball had struck the all-rounder on the glove.

Labuschagne got in on the act by bowling Mitchell Santner through the gate with a classic leg break and Lyon ended the innings just before lunch by getting rid of Southee.

David Warner passed 7,000 Test runs – taking him above the great Don Bradman on the all-time list in the process - before falling for 19, the left-hander picking out substitute fielder Tom Blundell with an attempted pull when a short ball from Southee got big on him.

Burns was dropped by De Grandhomme on 24 and played with more fluency after a watchful start to his knock, with the in-form Labuschagne - who scored a third consecutive Test century in the first innings - in great touch at the other end. 

They pressed on after taking tea at 75-1, reaching half-centuries in quick succession, while umpire Dar - standing in a record 129th Test - needed treatment on his knee after a collision with Santner.

Labuschagne was looking ominous until he pulled Wagner straight to Santner at midwicket, while Burns followed after fending a short ball from Southee to Henry Nicholls in the gully.

Smith fell to Wagner for only 14 before a fired-up Southee removed Travis Head and Tim Paine - who failed to score – though Australia are still firmly on top despite the dramatic finish to proceedings.

Australia paceman Josh Hazlewood will not bowl for the remainder of the first Test against New Zealand in Perth.

Hazlewood suffered a hamstring strain during day two and Australia confirmed on Saturday the 28-year-old would not bowl for the rest of the Test.

He bowled just eight deliveries, taking the wicket of Jeet Raval (1), before the injury.

Matthew Wade was used for two overs by Australia, who had reduced New Zealand to 129-6 in response to their 416 to begin day three.

Both teams are a bowler down for the Test, with Lockie Ferguson having suffered a calf strain on day one for the Black Caps.

Roston Chase has been a mainstay in the West Indies Test cricket side, but not so much in ODIs.

Steve Smith produced a stunning one-handed catch to remove Kane Williamson on the second day of Australia's first Test against New Zealand, though Mitchell Starc always expected his brilliant team-mate to take the chance.

Starc finished with 4-31 from 11 overs at stumps as the Black Caps were reduced to 109-5 in reply to Australia's first-innings total of 416.

While Ross Taylor will resume on 66 not out on Saturday, Australia have already got the key wicket of Williamson, who fell for 34 when Starc and Smith combined in spectacular fashion.

Former Australia captain Smith flung out his right hand to take a remarkable diving grab at second slip, not that the bowler of the delivery shared the crowd's amazement.

"Unfortunately for him, you sort of expect that from Steve," Starc explained to reporters.

"He's done that a few times. It was fantastic to create that buzz in the crowd and certainly out on the ground for us.

"The big wicket of Kane - being the captain as well - to hang onto him was a big moment in tonight's session.

"It was a fantastic catch, and it's always nice to see the boys hang on."

Starc added: "It happens pretty quick. It was a special grab.

"He's such a good player, whether it be with bat or in the field, you almost, unfortunately for him, expect that he's going to hold onto those nine times out of 10."

It was not all plain sailing for the hosts, who lost Josh Hazlewood to a suspected hamstring injury after he had bowled just eight balls - one of which clattered into opener Jeet Raval's stumps.

The extent of Hazlewood's problem is due to be confirmed on Saturday, with Starc already facing up to the possibility of Australia being one bowler down for at least the remainder of this Test.

"It's never nice seeing anyone go down, especially one of your best mates," Starc added.

"I'm not sure how those scans have come back, hopefully there's some positivity out of that. I guess it makes it tough now with a bowler down. It was for the Kiwis with [Lockie] Ferguson going down.

"The plus side is we've got them five down tonight and hopefully for Josh it's not too bad and, if it is going to keep him out for the rest of the week, it's not too big a break to get that hammy right."

Starc shone with the pink ball in the day-night Test, though admitted he still prefers all-day matches.

Asked whether he wanted all Tests to be day-night encounters given his performance, Starc replied: "Nope. Don't overdo it, I'd say.

"It's great for cricket but I'm still a traditionalist at heart. Don't take too many away from the red-ball game."

Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Jos Buttler are among the England players to be rested for the ODI series against South Africa, but they will return for the Twenty20s.

All-rounder Stokes, paceman Archer, wicketkeeper-batsman Buttler and quick Mark Wood have not been included in a 16-man squad for three ODIs in February.

Seamer Pat Brown, batsman Tom Banton, spinner Matt Parkinson and fast bowler Saqib Mahmood are included for the first time in the 50-over format.

Joe Root is among eight players from England's triumphant Cricket World Cup squad to be selected, but the Test captain will not feature in the T20 series - which comes after the ODIs.

Moeen Ali and Jason Roy were included in both squads after missing the tour of New Zealand. 

There is no place for Banton, Sam Billings, Lewis Gregory, Mahmood and James Vince in a party of 16 for the contests in the shortest format.

England national selector Ed Smith said: "These two squads were selected with an eye on the T20 World Cup in Australia in 2020.

"In the T20s, a number of players who were rested for the successful 3-2 victory in New Zealand return to the squad: Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and Jason Roy.

"We want to expand the pool of players who can perform successfully for England, while also helping the team to peak for major tournaments."

 

England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Pat Brown, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan, Matt Parkinson, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Chris Woakes.

England T20 squad: Eoin Morgan (captain) Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Pat Brown, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Matt Parkinson, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Mark Wood. 

Mitchell Starc put Australia in command in the absence of Josh Hazlewood while Steve Smith took a sensational catch to leave New Zealand in big trouble on day two of the first Test.

Marnus Labuschagne fell for 143 after making his third consecutive Test century on the opening day at Perth Stadium, and Travis Head struck 56 in Australia's 416 all out.

Neil Wagner (4-92) and Tim Southee (4-93) stepped up again with Black Caps debutant Lockie Ferguson unable bowl due to a calf injury sustained on Thursday.

New Zealand lost both openers inside two overs of their reply, but their trans-Tasman rivals suffered a big blow when Hazlewood ambled off with a suspected hamstring injury after dismissing Jeet Raval. 

Starc came to the fore late in the day-night contest on Friday, Smith diving to remove Williamson (34) in spectacular fashion as the left-arm paceman took 4-31 to reduce the tourists to 109-5 at stumps.

Ross Taylor will resume on Saturday unbeaten on 66 with New Zealand trailing by 307 and BJ Watling yet to get off the mark.

Labuschagne put away a couple of glorious drives after Australia resumed on 248-4, but Wagner ended his fifth-wicket stand of 76 with Travis Head by bowling the in-form number three around his legs.

Head looked in great touch in a positive knock, finding the boundary frequently before driving Southee to Mitchell Santner in the covers.

The Black Caps bowled with discipline after lunch, and Raval, used more than he would have anticipated in the absence of Ferguson, dismissed Pat Cummins for 20.

Starc added a brisk 30, smashing Santner for six over long-on, and captain Tim Paine a patient 39 before both were dismissed by Southee, with Australia all out on the stroke of tea.

New Zealand got off to a nightmare start to their reply under the lights, Tom Latham caught and bowled by Starc without scoring in the first over and Hazlewood cleaning up Raval with only his fourth ball.

Taylor joined Williamson at the crease with the tourists in the mire on 1-2, and they would have been relieved to see Hazlewood walk off after pulling up in his second over.

The current and former captain had to contend with some hostile short stuff from Cummins and Starc, but they weathered the storm under pressure and Taylor struck Nathan Lyon for three boundaries in an over.

There was no review from Australia when Williamson appeared to feather Cummins behind, but Smith took off to his right to grab a stunning one-handed catch to remove the prolific skipper - ending a stand of 76.

Although Taylor brought up a hard-earned half-century, Starc strangled Henry Nicholls caught behind down the leg side and generated late swing to bowl nightwatchman Wagner first ball in a great spell to leave New Zealand on the ropes.

Australia star Glenn Maxwell will make his return to cricket this month and lead Melbourne Stars into the new Big Bash League season.

All-rounder Maxwell announced he would be taking a short break from cricket to address "difficulties" relating to his mental health during Australia's T20I series against Sri Lanka at the end of October.

The Stars, who lost to Melbourne Renegades in the BBL final last year, confirmed the 31-year-old had joined their pre-season camp ahead of their first match in the competition against Brisbane Heat on December 20.

"We're pleased to see Glenn in green and ready to lead our side with a big season ahead," said Stars coach David Hussey.

"He's an incredible talent and a key part of our club but health and wellbeing comes first and it's important that he's been able to take some time away to focus on that."

After an initial absence, Maxwell has been stepping up his schedule, playing club cricket and training with the Victoria Sheffield Shield squad.

He has scored three centuries and had a further seven fifties for Australia in T20 cricket and is also expected to be involved in the Indian Premier League auction later this month.

Maxwell recently told reporters he had felt "mentally and physically ruined" from living out of a suitcase and believed spending four or five years on the road with his cricket commitments had taken its toll.

President of Cricket West Indies Ricky Skerritt has welcomed the news that Dwayne Bravo’s has announced that he had ended his retirement from  International Twenty 20 cricket.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka were again frustrated by the weather as only 32 balls were bowled on day three of the first Test at Pindi Cricket Stadium.

Just 18.2 overs were possible on the second day in Rawalpindi, and a combination of a wet outfield following overnight rain and bad light left the players kicking their heels again on Friday.

Dhananjaya de Silva moved on to 87 not out in the afternoon session after a wet outfield put paid to any action before lunch, but the umpires brought the players off in the gloom with Sri Lanka 282-6.

They did not return after tea on another cold, miserable day, with Dilruwan Perera unbeaten on six and Dhananjaya unable to press on to complete a sixth Test century.

The first Test in Pakistan for a decade is almost certainly heading for a draw.

Former West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo has come out of Twenty20 International retirement at the age of 36.

The all-rounder has not played for the Windies for over three years but is hoping to force his way into the defending champions' squad for the T20 World Cup in Australia next year.

Bravo revealed he would only be available to play international cricket in the shortest format.

He posted on Instagram: "Today I confirm the announcement of my decision to return to international cricket to all my fans and well-wishers all around the world.

"It's no secret that this big announcement has come as a result of the changes made at the administration level.

"For a while now I have been contemplating my return to international cricket and my decision was solidified by these positive changes.

"With the current leadership of coach Phil Simmons and captain Kieron Pollard I'm really excited about this come back and about the chance to be part of something really special.

"We have a lot of young talent on the team as well as cricketers with a wealth of experience such as Pollard, [Lendl] Simmons and Jason Holder and I believe that I can contribute to a positive change.

"With a powerful team such as ours we can definitely rebuild the WI T20 cricket team on and off the field and improve our rankings. I will remain fully committed to WI T20 team once selected."

Bravo took 3-37 in the Windies' dramatic T20 World Cup final win over England in 2016.

New Zealand have been dealt a blow with Lockie Ferguson unable to bowl for the rest of the first Test against Australia due to a calf strain.

Making his Test debut, Ferguson suffered the injury on day one in Perth on Thursday.

The paceman had bowled 11 overs for figures of 0-47, but that will be the end of his involvement with the ball in the series opener.

"INJURY UPDATE: An MRI scan has confirmed a right calf muscle-tendon strain for Lockie Ferguson which will prevent him bowling in the remainder of the 1st Test, although he is available to bat," the Black Caps wrote on Twitter on Friday.

"Awaiting a further report which will inform the next steps of his recovery."

Australia finished the day at 248-4 after Marnus Labuschagne made an unbeaten 110.

A five-wicket haul from medium-pacer Kacey Aldridge proved decisive on Thursday as England defeated West Indies by five-wickets in Day-Five action of Rising Stars U19 Tri-Series.

England, who lost to Sri Lanka on Wednesday by 19 runs via the DLS method, decided to bowl first this time and that decision proved to be the correct one.

Opener Kirk McKenzie, who replaced Mbeki Joseph, and wicket-keeper batsman Leonardo Julien, both were dismissed without scoring by the player of the match Aldridge (9.1-3-18-5) as the West Indies slipped to 41-4 in the 15th over and eventually folded for a paltry score of 116.

 Captain Kimani Melius (35) did his best to steady the ship but when he was bowled by off-spinner Hamidullah Qadri charging down the wicket, so went the home teams batting resistance.

The run chase was relatively comfortable for England although they lost half their wickets before they reached the winning score of 117.

West Indies spin duo off left-arm spinner Ashmead Nedd (10-5-9-1) and off-spinner Matthew Patrick (10-2-32-2) made a valiant effort with the ball on a surface that was giving them assistance, but they simply didn’t have enough runs to defend.

Ben Charlesworth top-scored for the English with 29, while Jordon Cox and Thomas Clarke each scored 24 for the winners.

 Melius was not happy with the collective effort of the batsmen.

 “It’s just a matter of our batsmen converting starts to big scores once they get set. The bowlers have been bowling well, so once the batsmen can put at least 220 runs on the board they (the bowlers) could have something to defend”, Melius said while reflecting on today’s loss and looking ahead to Saturday key game versus Sri Lanka.

 “We (the batsman) have been lackadaisical and haven’t shown enough intent and have to keep the game simple.”

 

A Level 2 coaching course which begins on Thursday in Kingston, Jamaica signals the start of the tenure of Chris Brabazon as Coach Education Manager, a new role created as part of CWI’s strategy to strengthen and invest in the development of coaching talent within the region. Chris has immediately travelled to Jamaica to observe the delivery of the Level 2 course.

Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams, welcomed Brabazon to CWI and highlighted the selection of Brabazon to the position.

“I am delighted to welcome Chris to the Caribbean where he will be taking up the role of CWI’s first full-time Coach Education Manager.  His appointment is a critical feature of our strategic plan to produce world-class players and winning teams through the development of West Indian coaches,” Adams said.

“Chris brings a wealth of experience having held a similar role of Coach Development Manager in Western Australia for the past six years.

“He has worked at every level of the Cricket Australia coaching development pathway, from grassroots to international level, and is well-placed to drive CWI’s objective of developing our coach education programs.  I have no doubt that Chris will play a significant role in advancing our regional game and am very excited to be working with him on improving coaching standards throughout the Caribbean.”

Speaking on his appointment, Brabazon was delighted to join the legacy of West Indies Cricket.

“I am incredibly excited to join the team at CWI. In particular, I am looking forward to meeting and working with the coaches and coach developers throughout the Caribbean to ensure that all local players have access to inspirational learning environments that fosters their love of cricket.”

Brabazon holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Business Administration, with over twelve (12) years’ experience specifically in cricket. He has functioned in coaching and talent development, as well as cricket management and accounting in his native Australia.

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