Very few in the cricket world would have heard the name Monty Desai before. But now, this man would have the responsibility to revive West Indies team's batting at the international level. Desai has been appointed as the batting coach of West Indies cricket team for a tenure of two years.
Desai is a new-age coach who may not have any notable accomplishments but has become a specialist in the field of coaching. Prior to his appointment with the West Indies team, Desai has worked with domestic teams in India as well as Nepal, Afghanistan, UAE, and Canada in the international circuit. He has also been involved with two IPL teams – Rajasthan Royals and Gujarat Lions.
With 12 years of experience behind him, Desai might be the right man to take up the job. This appointment comes at a crucial time as the Windies are about to start a T20I series in India which will be followed by an ODI rubber. But the two-year term of contract suggests that the West Indian authorities are not looking just at the upcoming series in India but their long-term interest.
The last three years have seen a clear improvement in the Caribbean side's performance. They have recorded impressive Test match wins in Pakistan (2016) and England (2017), apart from a great series win over England at home earlier this year.
Still, their batting has often looked fragile and prone to collapsing on too many occasions. The Caribbean batsmen seem especially at sea against spin-bowling on helpful pitches and don't seem to have good footwork when facing slower bowlers.
Luckily, Monty has great young talent to work with in the coming two years. Batsmen like Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran have tonnes of ability. Turning them into consistent performers will be key for the new batting coach.
'Excited to be with West Indies'
Speaking on his appointment, Desai said: "I am very excited to join a team with such a rich history in the world cricket arena, one that I myself grew up admiring. I am very much looking forward to being part of a journey where I can help to create a winning work environment, learn and embrace a new culture, and build a 'happy dressing room' tradition alongside other excellent leaders."
As the batting coach, Desai will be working under former West Indian cricketer and the head coach of the team Phil Simmons. He will also have the support of another former international cricketer from the Caribbean Jimmy Adams, who is the Director of Cricket in West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).
Working with these two stalwarts of Windies cricket is a prospect that Desai said he is eagerly looking forward to. "I am eager to join forces with head coach Phil Simmons and director of cricket, Jimmy Adams, and our captains, such that I may contribute in every possible way to the success of our team."