(Reuters) – West Indies players must find a way to enjoy their cricket to get their mood back after a terrible start to their Twenty20 World Cup title defence against England, assistant coach Rod Estwick said on Monday.
The Caribbean side, who won the last edition of the tournament in 2016, folded for an embarrassing 55 inside 15 overs before Eoin Morgan’s men romped home inside nine overs.
West Indies will have to quickly regroup from the mauling when they face South Africa in a Group One Super 12 clash in Dubai on Tuesday.
“One bad game doesn’t make a summer,” Estwick told reporters on Monday. “We realise we had a bad game. We’ve had a chat about it. The players had some volleyball yesterday to help them to relax to try, to try to build some team spirit.
“You’ve got to back the players. Our job is to get the players up, make sure they remain confident, make sure they still believe in their ability. Make sure the dressing room is still a happy place and let them go enjoy the game of cricket, because that’s why they started playing.”
A side replete with the most prolific cricketers in the shortest format and players who ply their trade across the world in various domestic T20 leagues, West Indies also have teams like Sri Lanka, Australia and Bangladesh in their group.
The top two teams from each group will advance to the semi-finals.
Estwick was aware that the team failed as a batting unit against England but backed Kieron Pollard’s men to bounce back against the Proteas, who went down fighting in their opening match against Australia.
“You start playing cricket because you enjoy doing it,” the coach added. “They’re fortunate enough that they become international superstars and they are representing their country. But at the end of the day, it’s all about enjoyment.
“And once the enjoyment comes first and the attitude is right, then your skill level will remain high and your discipline will remain very high.”
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Christian Radnedge)