Joshua Da Silva

REACHING FOR IT: West Indies’ Joshua Da Silva takes a catch during a practice session at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh, last Friday. —Photo: AFP

West Indies wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva sees the Bangladesh tour as an opportunity to showcase the team’s depth and insisted that all the players who have opted to make the trip are ready to meet the challenge.

The Windies, who are without 13 of their first-choice players arrived in Bangladesh last weekend and will square off against their hosts in three ODIs and two Test matches.

Ten players declined the opportunity to tour due to Covid-19-related concerns or personal fears while two opted out for personal reasons and one was forced out after returning a positive Covid-19 test prior to the team’s departure.

Test skipper Jason Holder, ODI captain Kieron Pollard, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran all opted out of the tour due to Covid-19-related concerns or personal fears while Fabian Allen and Shane Dowrich are unavailable due to personal reasons.

Romario Shepherd tested positive for Covid-19 before the team left the Caribbean and was replaced by Keon Harding while Hayden Walsh Jr tested positive while in Bangladesh and he too will miss the ODIs, however no replacement player has been named. The ODI series bowls off on Wednesday.

Despite so many players declining to tour, Da Silva was excited to make the trip and is confident that the players will be safe on the tour.

Da Silva said: “I am really excited about the Bangladesh tour. I think it is a great opportunity and I am quite confident in the protocols that Cricket West Indies have put in place to ensure our safety on the tour,” Da Silva told the Express before his departure with the West Indies squad.

“It is going to be a great experience for the younger guys and all the new faces coming in, including myself. This is only my second tour as part of the team and my third tour overall but I think the guys are going to be ready for it. It is another opportunity and we all know we can play cricket, so it is just a matter of showing the depth that West Indies has and showing that we have the player bank that we need and I know everybody is ready for the challenge,” he added.

Da Silva, who only made his Test debut in the recent New Zealand series, is also in line for an ODI debut after being included in the limited overs squad for the Bangladesh tour.

“I am not feeling any additional pressure,” said the 22-year-old right-handed batsman. “It is just like any other cricket match I am going to play. It’s an opportunity again and I just want to make the best of it and perform as well as I can and continue to progress in my career.

“I am really excited about being in the ODI team as well. I wasn’t really expecting it to be honest but it was a nice shock to the system and good Christmas present I would say,” he continued.

Da Silva is also expecting the Windies to put up a good fight against their hosts.

“We all know Bangladesh is very strong at home. It has been a while since we played against teams that have predominantly spinners (in their bowling attack). We’ve been to New Zealand and we’ve been to England so it is going to be a bit of a change but nothing that we are not accustomed to. We have those conditions as well at home, so it is just about backing our skills and our ability and when we get into the games, just put our best foot forward and put up a good fight,” Da Silva ended.

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