West Indies wicket-keeper batsman Shane Dowrich had a torrid time with the bat the last time he was in England, but is hopeful of turning things around in the upcoming three-Test series.
After three matches on West Indies' 2017 tour of England, Dowrich's numbers cut a sorry figure. He had scored a mere 24 runs at an average of 4.80. The tour was a harsh lesson for Dowrich, but he says it also was a turning point. There is statistical evidence to back that claim.
Since the end of the series, Dowrich has been West Indies' most prolific Test batsman, scoring 902 runs at an average of 36.08, including three centuries. The last of those tons came against England at his home ground in Bridgetown, where his unbeaten 295-run stand with skipper Jason Holder helped West Indies seal an important series victory.
⚪ Shai Hope in ODIs:— ICC (@ICC) June 17, 2020
🏏 3289 runs at 52.20
💯 Nine centuries
🔴 Shai Hope in Tests:
🏏 1498 runs at 27.23
💯 Two centuries
The West Indies batsman is looking to translate his white-ball success into runs against England next month 👇
Now, as a far more accomplished batsman than he was prior to that fateful 2017 tour, Dowrich aims to reach three figures on English soil as well. "The last time I was here was very tough for me, but it was a series that really changed around my career. I was young, in unfamiliar territory and I really didn't cope very well with it, to be honest.
"But since then I've been able to go away, and I've learned a lot from my experience of here last time. And I consider myself a different player to what I was three years ago. Obviously, it's still going to be a challenge playing in England. Batting will always be a challenge, but I think I'm ready and up for that."
West Indies will benefit greatly if Dowrich realises his ambitions with the bat on this tour, but things look far more assured for them in the bowling department. The likes of Jason Holder, Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel have done very well in recent years. Moreover, they are experienced in the use of the Dukes ball, which is used in Test matches played in the Caribbean.
Dowrich is confident in the abilities of the fast bowlers, and asked whether he would've preferred having Barbados-born Jofra Archer in the West Indies camp rather than England, the 28-year-old said that the existing pacemen in the visiting squad cover all bases.
In addition to those experienced campaigners, there are also promising youngsters like Alzarri Joseph and the uncapped Chemar Holder, who has impressed at the first-class level and is now part of the West Indies squad. Dowrich feels the attack is well-balanced across departments.
"If you look at the main four in Shannon, Kemar, Jason and Alzarri, they all present different skills," said Dowrich. Kemar is probably the most skilful of all them in terms of being able to get a consistent line and length, and moving the ball both ways.
"Shannon and Alzarri have a little more pace, and Jason is Mr Consistent; he can put the ball on a 10-pence piece. So I think we bring the whole dynamic, and then obviously you have young Chemar Holder coming up, who is an exciting talent and the way he bowled in first-class cricket this season shows that. We have a well-versed attack and I look forward to seeing them bowl in this series."