DaSilva’s composure, form impresses Harper

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Trinidadian Joshua DaSilva’s batting during the recent domestic first class championship has not gone unnoticed by West Indies convenor of selectors, Roger Harper.

The 21-year-old emerged from the eight-round tournament with 507 runs at an average of 50 to top Trinidad and Tobago Red Force’s batting, to be the only player to exceed the 500-run mark.

Harper said what had impressed him most was the right-hander’s comfort against both pace and spin, along with his poise in pressure situations.

“He batted very well throughout the tournament. It was a little disappointing that he wasn’t able to just kick on and get at least another hundred,” Harper said.

“But he got a hundred in the Super50 for the Emerging Players and he has shown he’s got the ability to perform consistently and what is the thing that struck me about the young man is his composure – he looked very organised and composed against all types of bowling.

“The pacers and the spin bowling, even under pressure he seemed to handle them very well. He probably just needs to look at the way he plays the medium pacers but I’m very impressed with his performance.”

DaSilva, who also kept wicket for Red Force, made his first class debut last season, featuring in eight matches but struggling with an average of 21 and just 348 runs.

He redeemed himself during last year’s Super50 Cup, leading the batting for Emerging Players with an average of 44 as the development side produced a stunning upset to win the competition.

His unbeaten hundred in the opening round of the first class championship set the tone for the season as he went on to add three half-centuries to his tally.

However, Harper said he wanted to see the region’s batsmen compile big scores, not just fifties.

“It is something we have to work on. Our players have to learn how to convert starts to half-centuries and half-centuries to centuries – and I think sometimes they get a little bit lost having completed a half-century,” the former Guyana and West Indies off-spinner said.

“But these are things we have to work on. They are part of the mental skills we have to develop. They are areas we sometimes ignore – we just look at our ability to strike the ball and that sort of thing – but our mental skills is an important area which we need to work a little more.

“I think if we do that, we will get more of the type of results we’re looking for, especially our batsmen, they’ll be able to convert and produce the bigger scores that we’re looking for.”