Jermaine Blackwood lauds English bowling attack: The West Indian batsman would be looking forward to seal his middle-order spot in the Test team.
West Indies batsman Jermaine Blackwood considers all-rounder Andre Russell as his “mentor”. Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Blackwood disclosed how the pair had trained during at the latter’s place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve been working consistently, in the gym and in the nets as well. He’s basically my mentor. We talk a lot about cricket and stuff. He’s helped me through this period [out of the team] as well.
“I’m always up there, every day at his house. He’s like my brother – I can stay there any time I want. We’re very competitive: sometimes he gets me out, sometimes I hit him for a few sixes. And he pushes me in the gym to get even stronger, to lift heavier weights, and running as well,” Blackwood was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
Blackwood, 28, doesn’t live very far away from Russell’s home in Jamaica. Further speaking about Russell, the 28-year old batsman disclosed his aim to play like the swashbuckling player in Test cricket.
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“He’s just a great human being, a great person. Seeing the way he goes out and puts in performances game after game in T20s, I just want to be like him, but in Test cricket: going out there and putting in performances consistently,” Blackwood said.
Jermaine Blackwood lauds English bowling attack
Blackwood, who made his Test debut during New Zealand’s tour of West Indies in 2014, had scored 619 runs in his first 10 Test matches at an average of 41.26 including one century and five half-centuries. However, a drastic dip in form has seen him out from the team for more than two and a half years.
While Blackwood had replaced Darren Bravo as a concussion substitute during the Jamaica Test against India last year, the forthcoming tour of England will is the first time when he is part of the West Indian squad since their tour of Zimbabwe in 2018.
Blackwood, who had scored a counterattacking 79* (76) during the Edgbaston Test in 2017, was part of the West Indies A squad in 2018 as well. Having had the experience of playing in England, Blackwood mentioned that he “is up for the challenge” against the praiseworthy English bowling attack especially in the absence of Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer.
“I think it’ll be good fun for us. England have one of the best bowling attacks in the world, but I’m always up for the challenge: I like to go out there and challenge the best in the world. I want to get runs against the best.
“Jimmy Anderson is very good – a great bowler over the years, then you have Stuart Broad, Ben Stokes is a good bowler, Jofra Archer is just coming onto the scene… it’s a good attack. But I don’t think we’re coming over there to lose. We’re coming over to win. That’s our mentality coming to England,” Blackwood added.