World Cup will be a good one for Pooran, says Windies head coach

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Nicholas Pooran raises his bat after reaching a half-century (Associated Press)

NOTTINGHAM, England (CMC) — West Indies head coach, Floyd Reifer, has backed rookie Nicholas Pooran, to excel in the ongoing ICC World Cup.

The 23-year-old stroked a cameo 19-ball unbeaten 34 as West Indies romped to a comfortable seven-wicket over Pakistan in their World Cup opener here last Friday.

Reifer, a former West Indies captain, said Pooran’s work ethic had left him well-placed for success in the tournament.

“Pooran has been batting well in the nets over the last three weeks and it only showed in the game,” said Reifer.

“He’s put in a lot of extra work in the nets with the coaches. Even after practice sessions he hit a lot more balls and you can see he is working on specifics.

“Coming into the game, he played some lovely shots, rotated the strike beautifully … so he’s a good find. He’s going to go on for the rest of the tournament and he’s going to put in some really good performances for us.”

The outing against Pakistan was only his second One-Day International after making his debut earlier this year against England in the Caribbean, when he failed to score.

Pooran’s knock followed up Chris Gayle’s 50 off 34 balls at the top of the order, which laid the foundation for victory and ensured West Indies started their World Cup campaign on a high.

The 39-year-old Gayle is in his last ODI series for West Indies and Reifer said the veteran left-hander remained a huge asset to the Caribbean side.

“Chris is a legend and any team that is graced with Chris Gayle’s presence it is a big advantage. Himself and (Andre) Russell, those are very good cricketers,” Reifer said.

West Indies are currently preparing for the second match of the World Cup against reigning champions Australia at Trent Bridge here on Thursday.