Ahead of the upcoming two-match Test series against Bangladesh, West Indies batsman Jermaine Blackwood has said that he has a similar batting style to Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant. Pant recently played a match-winning knock of 89 runs in the fourth and final Test against Australia at the Gabba, as India won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1. Blackwood has been West Indies’ top run-scorer in recent Test series against England and New Zealand. “I was following the series between India and Australia. During the fourth innings with an hour left, I was saying to myself that once Rishabh Pant is there, you’re going to win. I think we have the same batting style. He looked to score and a player who puts bowlers under pressure. That’s the same way I bat. I was just rooting for him because I know he was under a little bit of pressure. He is a very cool guy,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Blackwood as saying.
Before quality performances against England and the Kiwis, Blackwood was not being given a long rope in the Test line-up and the batsman had to warm the bench for almost three years.
“I think I have been out of the West Indies team for almost three years. On the sidelines, I did some work on my mental space. I trained twice a day and hit the gym every day. I put in a lot of hard work to be as fit as possible. I tried to come back as strong as possible. You can see the results. I am better at my shot selection, I am starting to understand my game very well, and I want to continue to do the same going forward,” said Blackwood.
The Windies batsman also revealed his conversation with Indian skipper Virat Kohli, and how he helped him in learning the art of scoring big runs.
“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,” he said.
“So after the game, I just had a small conversation. I asked him about how I have a lot of half-centuries and only 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,” said Blackwood.
“He said, ”That’s it, once you can bat some balls, you’re going to score runs”. 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,” he added.
West Indies and Bangladesh will lock horns in the first Test, beginning February 3.
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