TURANGA, New Zealand – West Indies enter Friday’s opening game of the ICC Women’s World Cup with a heavy cloud over their batting but hoping to turn the page on that brittle form and pull off an upset against influential hosts New Zealand.
The Caribbean side found runs hard to come by in their two official warm-up matches over the last week, failing to crack 200 in either affair while pursuing targets in the region of 260.
Only captain Stafanie Taylor and Shemaine Campbelle managed half-centuries, leaving key players without a decent knock heading into the month-long tournament.
Taylor conceded massive improvements were needed in the batting department and said there was a firm resolve among the squad to ensure this.
“We had our meeting, and you know, we said that to be competitive, we have to be scoring over 200 runs, and in the two games that we played, we didn’t do so,” the Jamaican told a media conference.
“So that’s something that we’ve had a look at. And, you know, moving forward, that’s something that we need to work at.”
She continued: “I think the other batters are starting to contribute. I think what we need to do is [be] collective in each game [and] being consistent, which I’ve talked about a lot – being consistent.
“[It’s] not just one or two batters always performing and probably looking at how teams are playing, [we will need] a lot more ’50s and batters are stepping up and taking that responsibility. And I think as batters, we have to do that more consistently.”
West Indies have won 10 of their last 20 One-Day Internationals in bilateral series but take on a home side who have also struggled in recent times against high-quality opposition, winning only six of their previous 22 matches.
However, their successful pursuit of 322 to beat Australia in their second warm-up match earlier this week in Lincoln was a testament to their quality.
In three years, West Indies had not faced New Zealand in ODIs and lost their last meeting away when they suffered a 3-0 drubbing in 2018.
With the odds already against her side, Taylor said it was important they focussed on their own game and not necessarily try to exploit any possible pressure piled on New Zealand by being hosts.
“We don’t talk about if they are under pressure or what. I think that’s for them,” Taylor explained.
“We try to zone in on us, and what we need to do to perform [which is] perform well.
“So we had our practice session today, and you know, we work on areas that we need to work on to prepare yourself for tomorrow.”
She added: “Anything you do tomorrow, we know that we have to do it well. We have to play to the best of our ability. New Zealand is in good form, but it’s all about the day and who performs.”
The ICC Women’s World Cup runs until April 3.
NEW ZEALAND – Sophie Devine (captain), Amy Satterthwaite, Suzie Bates, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Fran Jonas, Jess Kerr, Amelia Kerr, Frances Mackay, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin, Georgia Plimmer, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu
WEST INDIES – Stafanie Taylor (captain), Anisa Mohammed, Aaliyah Alleyne, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Cherry-Ann Fraser, Chinelle Henry, Kycia Knight, Hayley Matthews, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Shakera Selman, Rashada Williams