Stafanie Taylor: Our coaching staff has put us in a good space
The West Indies are heading to the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 in a good space, the like of which I have not seen for a long time.
A lot of that is down to the coaching staff. Courtney Walsh took over as head coach in 2020 and the impact that he and his team have made has been huge. They have been able to teach us things that we were just completely unaware of previously.
It makes you wonder what sort of players we could be if we had learned some of these things sooner. What sort of player would I be if I knew at the age of seven or eight, what I know now?
I have worked a lot with our batting coach Robert Samuels on trying to avoid slipping in bad habits. I never used to be one to watch videos very much, but now I try to film net sessions to make sure I’m avoiding those old habits.
Robert has been working hard on building up our middle order, and I hope that we will be able to show that our depth has improved during the tournament in New Zealand. The aim is to be stronger in that area, and that then relieves the pressure on individual players when they get to the middle.
We still have a few players from the 2017 World Cup, and players like Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews are in good form.
But there are also a lot of youngsters who we have been able to integrate into the side. For those playing their first World Cup, my advice to them is to enjoy themselves. There will be nerves, there is no way around that, but they just need to enjoy the opportunity.
It has not been the easiest build-up for me because I was hit on the head during the series against South Africa. It was the first time I had been hit on the head by a cricket ball, or at all, and I am still recovering from the concussion.
Apparently, I was speaking a lot of nonsense after it happened, and light affected my eyes initially, so I spent a lot of time with glasses on. Hopefully, I can be ready for the opening warm-up game down in Christchurch.
We start the tournament against New Zealand, so we know that will be a challenge taking them on in their own backyard.
But at a World Cup, every game is tricky so we just need to make sure we focus on our strengths.
If we are to make the semi-finals, we will need players to step up in the big moments and it cannot just be one or two of them.
We need to play well across all three phases. Our fast bowling depth is looking good with Shamilia Connell in good form, and that could be very useful in the conditions over here.
We are just really excited to get started because the team is in a really good space.
From the captain’s column for ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, supplied by ICC Media Zone.