West Indies vice-captain Jermaine Blackwood opened up on a conversation with Virat Kohli, saying it has helped him with his mindset for batting in Test matches.
Ahead of West Indies’ two match series in Bangladesh, Blackwood said he realises that he cannot score a century ‘in an over or two’, and revealed details of coversations with Kohli and Andre Russell. Blackwood has 1789 runs from 33 Tests with 13 half-centuries and two centuries.
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“I don’t really have a lot of conversations with international players. I talked to Virat Kohli a few times as well, on social media. The last time India toured the Caribbean, I had a chance to talk to him in Jamaica when I was there subbing. So after the game, I just had a small conversation. I asked him about how all the time that I have a lot of half-centuries and one century. He just said, what will you do when you score a century, how many deliveries did you face? I said I faced 212 balls. He said, that’s it, once you can bat some balls, you’re gonna score runs,” said Blackwood.
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“So, I took a big thing from that. After that conversation, I tell myself that once I can bat over 200 or 300 balls, the way I bat, I can score runs regardless of who I am playing against or where I am playing.
“Me and Russell did a lot of talking. We are very close. I need to improve in kicking on and getting more hundreds. We mostly talk about my shot selections. When I started playing for West Indies, I was young and excited. My style of batting was to play a lot of shots and put the bowlers under pressure.
“What I learned was that you can’t make a hundred in an over or two. You have to spend hours at the crease. I did a lot of talking with Russell, and he gave me a lot of pointers on what I needed to do. Not because just T20s. He only played one Test match, but he is a guy who knows his cricket.”
Blackwood was confident of West Indies’ chances and said he wouldn’t change his role.
“I am not really going to change my role. For the last two series, I have been scoring runs. My goal is to continue to score runs, and just to win some more games for the team. I think this unit is a good one. I can see the hunger. We have been training very hard for the past couple of weeks. I can see that we are trying new things, and they are working pretty well. I have full confidence in this batting unit to get the job done. John Campbell, Kraigg Brathwaite, young Moseley, myself and Josh is, I think, a decent line-up. Once we can stick to our gameplan, I don’t see no way we can’t post some good totals,” he said.