Jermaine Blackwood will be a vital cog in the wheel for the West Indies especially in the absence of Jason Holder and Roston Chase. The middle-order batsman performed decently in the last two series and would like to continue in the same fashion against Bangladesh.
While speaking to the media on Wednesday, Blackwood said, "I had a very good 2020 in the last couple of series against England and New Zealand. But this is 2021, a new year, so I have to put 2020 behind me and focus on what's ahead. Coming to Bangladesh, I know it's a different challenge and conditions. I am trying to prepare as best as possible, doing different things. We will have a lot of spinners bowling here, so I am prepared for everything right now."
The West Indies will miss the services of a few senior players. But Blackwood reckons that it's not a big deal for him. "I am in a good frame of mind. I am just trying to stay as positive as possible. I am very confident right now. Looking forward to playing the same cricket that I have played in the last few months. There is a little bit of pressure but I am used to it. It is not a big deal for me," he said.
Blackwood is not keen to change his style of playing and wants to motivate the youngsters as much as possible. "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 (Joshua Da Silva) is, I think, a decent line-up. Once we can stick to our gameplan, I don't see no way we can post some good totals," Blackwood said.
"I am a very positive guy when I am batting. I guess once any of the younger guys see me batting, some of that will rub off on them. I am trying to motivate them as much as possible. I just try to keep the game very simple. I have been talking to the batsmen about keeping it as simple as possible, focus on one ball at a time. Once you can do that, I don't see why we can't get the job done here," he added.
Blackwood thinks that the West Indies need to be positive in their approach and be mentally prepared to counter the spin attack. "These type of surfaces are very slow. So I have to (be prepared) mentally because technically I can't do too much work right now. But mentally I know it is going to be very slow and it will spin. Once mentally I am ready, I am good. Then everything takes care of itself. I am batting very good in the nets, so I am just looking forward to transfer that in the middle. I can't really wait to just go out there and play some cricket. I have been in Bangladesh for a while now so I am just eager to go out and play some cricket."
He is turning out to be one of the key batsmen in this West Indies line-up in Tests. Blackwood believes that working hard made him a better player. "I think I have been out of the WI team for almost three years. On the sidelines, I did some work on my mental space. I trained twice a day, 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. I want to continue to do the same, going forward," he mentioned.