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ICC World Cup 2019 | We Are Entertainers, We Are Here to Entertain: West Indies Coach Reifer

West Indies head coach Floyd Reifer insists his batsmen are up for the challenge of taming England’s electric pace bowler Jofra Archer in their next World Cup clash on Friday.

Archer was born in Barbados to a British father and played for West Indies Under-19s before declaring his allegiance to England earlier this year. The 24-year-old qualified for England in March and the match against the West Indies in Southampton will be just his seventh one-day international appearance.

In that short time, Archer has already established himself as one of the sport’s most explosive bowlers, with three-wicket hauls against both South Africa and Bangladesh in the World Cup underlining his quality.

Finding a way to subdue Archer will be one of the West Indies’ main tasks as they look to beat hosts England. And Reifer, speaking after Monday’s match against South Africa was abandoned due to rain, is confident they have a game-plan to combat his threat.

“We are entertainers, we are here to entertain so the players come out and entertain us. But yes, we will have a good game. I’m sure Jofra will be chomping at the bit to come at us and we will be ready for him,” said Reifer.

“To be honest, we knew Jofra for a long time. He is from Barbados, where we are from. We knew him from the U15, U17, U19 so he is not new to us.

“Yes, he’s bowling quickly, but there’s nothing that we are not accustomed to. We are looking forward to the challenge. So we will see how it goes on Friday.”

Asked if he was disappointed that Archer didn’t chose to play for the West Indies, Reifer said pointedly: “He made his choice.

“I actually played club cricket against him as a young guy. So Jofra is a tremendous talent, we all know that.

“He obviously had the pace. He had a few injuries as a young guy. But I’m guessing though he’s fully over those injuries and he is bowling very well for England.”

Talking about the washed out game, Reifer feels this was a good opportunity to play against South Africa who were coming into this game on the back of three straight defeats.

“Yes, it was a good opportunity to play against them, like any other team in the competition. We are playing cricket, we are playing fearless cricket. So it doesn’t matter who we play. When we play them, we want to play the same brand of cricket that we are playing, what we executed in the past couple of games.

“We were looking forward to the game, especially the start that we had in the game. And planning for the game last night, we were really looking forward to this game. After they lost the first three games their confidence as a team will be a bit low, so we wanted to take a big advantage of that.”

West Indies were without Andre Russell in this encounter but Reifer said the match-winning all-rounder will be back for the next game.

“Yes, Andre will be fit enough for the game on Friday. The game against England is a big game for us. We are looking forward to that game. Looking at the weather forecast, it was 90 percent rain today and they had rain over the last couple of days here as well.

“So it is just a precautionary measure where we are kind of wrapping him in cotton wool.”

West Indies might be a batting-heavy side but the likes of Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Russell and Jason Holder have done extremely well in the bowling department. Reifer said his bowlers are going for wickets, something that needs to be done on flat tracks.

“In a competition like this, you come to England where the wickets are supposed to be flat and a lot of high scores. When you look at the games played before the World Cup there’s been a lot of high scores as well.

“It is important for teams and important for us to take wickets. And you see the brand of cricket that we are playing, the guys have created that new brand of cricket for West Indies, where we want to take wickets, we want to bowl out teams, so wickets are important.

“Wickets changes the tempo of the game. No matter what the situation, or in any format that you play, wickets are important.”

Team Rankings

1 New Zealand 2764 126
2 India 2987 119
3 Australia 1844 108
4 England 3753 107
5 Pakistan 2481 92
FULL Ranking
1 New Zealand 2054 121
2 England 3793 119
3 Australia 3244 116
4 India 3624 113
5 South Africa 2267 103
FULL Ranking
1 England 7786 278
2 India 7093 273
3 New Zealand 6048 263
4 Pakistan 8883 261
5 South Africa 6640 246
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