BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Team captain Joshua Da Silva said he was excited about leading West Indies A on their trip to South Africa because of the possibilities that it will present to the players.
The team departed from Barbados on Tuesday for a trip on which they will play only three “Tests” against South Africa A between November 21 and December 8 in the cities of Benoni, East London, and Bloemfontein.
“It will be the second time that I will be going to South Africa for the year, but I am excited to lead this team and learning from the experience, and I hope that everybody takes it with both hands, and we have a successful tour,” he said in an interview with CWI Media.
“It is just about taking the opportunity and gaining experience. We have a few young guys on the team, so it’s about them learning, and doing the right thing, and doing the basics well, and gelling well with each other, and be happy for everyone’s success. Once we do those things, I have no doubt that everyone will play their part.”
Da Silva was at the helm of the side when they visited Bangladesh this past August and won a three-match series 1-0, and he is hoping for similar results.
He has been the first-choice wicketkeeper-batsman for the senior West Indies Test team for the past three years, and he was part of that side, under Kraigg Brathwaite, which visited South Africa this past February.
“The conditions in South Africa … taking what I learnt about them earlier in the year and hoping that I can take that knowledge and put it into this series and get a few good scores, and hopefully that will lead the team to a couple of victories,” he said.
“A series win is definitely what we are going there to do. We going to play our hearts out to win every match. It’s not going to be easy, we know that for sure. But putting our best foot forward and doing the right things for as long as possible, I am pretty confident we can get the results.”
Da Silva also felt the series could be a dress rehearsal for several players hopeful of making the senior Test team for the tour of Australia next January to February.
“The conditions in Australia are similar, so taking this opportunity to play some four-day matches before that Test series because we will not have any locally – to go to South Africa and play in those conditions, gain that experience, and gain some form for Australia will be good,” he said.
Tevin Imlach was named the vice-captain of the squad, which includes five players with senior international Test experience – Da Silva, left-handers Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Kirk McKenzie, and fast bowlers Jayden Seales and Shermon Lewis.
Three players that made their first-class debuts this year were also named in the squad – batsman Kevlon Anderson, fast bowler and Guyana Harpy Eagles teammate Shamar Joseph, and Jamaica Scorpions spin bowling all-rounder Abhijai Mansingh.
Former Jamaica left-hander and West Indies captain Jimmy Adams, the former Cricket West Indies director of cricket, and former Australia fast bowler Shaun Tait are the assistant coaches.