By Royston Alkins
Devendra Bishoo, the lone Guyanese in the West Indies squad to face Pakistan in the first One-Day International on Friday said yesterday that he was excited to be back in the West Indies set-up and expects things to go well.
The leg-spinner, who spoke with media operatives before the team’s first practice session at Providence said: “I’m very, very excited to be back home after 2011 and it’s nice to be back in the ODI squad so yeah I’m really happy.”
Bishoo played his eighth One-Day International at Providence back in 2011 ironically against Pakistan, a match in which the homeboy helped West Indies win by 10-wickets after producing figures of one for 26 from seven economical overs, an outing that he will be desperate to replicate.
He added, “we’re looking forward to winning the series, we just have to play as a team and try to get as much wins as possible and it’s very important that we qualify for the World Cup.”
Bishoo emphasized the importance of winning the series as it will help the Caribbean side who are in danger of not automatically qualifying for the next ICC cricket World Cup in 2019 because of where they currently sit on the rankings table.
He, however, expressed uncertainty about the nature of the newly-laid surface at Providence when quizzed about how he feels it will play.
“I’m not sure”, he added, “we had a few practice sessions a few months ago but from then to now it’s a totally new something.”
To date the leg spinner has played in 17 One Day Internationals while taking 26 wickets in the process at an economy rate of just under five runs per over. Bishoo will know that his full quota of overs, along with fellow spinner Ashley Nurse’s spell, will be critical if West Indies are to give a good account of themselves since the conditions in Guyana generally suit the slower bowlers.
On a comforting note, the side looked sharp during their near hour long fielding session with the likes of Kieran Powell, Ashley Nurse and Jonathan Carter spending the bulk of the afternoon sharpening their slip catching skills while the others including Rovman Powell (who had torrid time in the outfield during the recently concluded T20 series) spent most of the afternoon in the outfield.
The batsmen, Powell, Evan Lewis, Shai Hope and Chadwick Walton more specifically, spent the rest of the afternoon in the nets as the bowlers also went through their paces.
The team will engage in another practice session today at 9:00 at the same venue before Friday’s opening game.