Thomas on quest to enhance bowling strategy

New West Indies bowling coach Alfonso Thomas chats with fast-bowling all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite during a training session. (Photo courtesy CWI Media)

HARARE, Zimbabwe, CMC – Newly acquired West Indies bowling coach, Alfonso Thomas, says he is hoping to help the Caribbean side’s bowlers bring a more strategic approach to their execution on match day, starting with the ICC World Cup qualifiers which bowl off next weekend.

The 41-year-old South African, who replaces Barbadian Roddy Estwick, said central to his objective was ensuring every bowler had a clear plan and fully understood their role in the attack.

“There’s obviously a lot of talent and I’ve had conversations with a few of them and just identifying what every bowler’s role going to be, and that is something we’re going to discuss …,” Thomas said.

“Once we establish that, it is to then map out clear game plans for each and every bowler.”

He continued: “I would like facilitate guys and mapping out exactly what they are trying to achieve during a match and I think that will give us a measurable when we reflect on where we’re at as a bowling group.

“I more see myself as a facilitator and really getting guys to have clear game plans coming into each and every match.”

Thomas was one of several changes made to the West Indies management group, coming off a disastrous tour of New Zealand last December when the regional side failed to win a single Test, One-Day International or Twenty20.

He played a single T20 for South Africa 11 years ago but forged an extensive first class career, mainly for English County Somerset, before concentrating on T20 cricket in the latter stages of his career.

Having already had a taste of the Windies camp in the build-up to the start of the qualifiers, Thomas said he was relishing the challenge.

“I’ve come in not thinking too much about it nor with any pre-conceived ideas. I purposely didn’t want to get any information on any players because I wanted to make that assumption for myself …,” he said.

“[West Indies] is a team I was always fond of. I could remember when I was a little young kid sitting in South Africa… the international cricket we had was the guys coming over with the Rebel Tours..

“It was just the way they approached cricket, was quite appealing to me as a kid and I’m really excited and obviously very honoured to be part of such a special team with such fantastic history.”

West Indies open their qualifying campaign against UAE on March 6.

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