The first cricket match post coronavirus outbreak took place between England and West Indies at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, where the visitors defeated the hosts by four wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match Test series.
West Indies was given a task of chasing 200 on Day 5 to win the first Test. Caribbean middle-order batsman Jermaine Blackwood led the side from one end and guided his team to get over the line by playing an inspirational 95-run knock.
Blackwood, who might not even have been in the West Indies team had Shimron Hetmyer and Darren Bravo been available for the tour, stitched crucial partnerships with Roston Chase and Shane Dowrich to make sure Windies register a memorable victory over England.
But what really inspired Blackwood to play the marathon innings? Well, the right-handed batsman has himself revealed the secret.
As per the DailyMail, Blackwood said that England’s attempts to get inside his head at Southampton inspired him to play the innings which eventually won the first Test for West Indies.
“From the first ball the captain Ben Stokes was in my ear,” said the Jamaican cricketer.
“I think they were trying to get me to play a rash shot, but it didn’t faze me at any point. Once I was at the crease, they were the ones under pressure, not me.”
“They knew they couldn’t bowl a loose ball at me. I can’t remember what was said, but it was nothing bad. That’s cricket. You’ll always hear a bit of talking, and that’s how it should be played,” added Blackwood.
Even the West Indies coach Phil Simmons hailed Blackwood for showing the maturity and dealing with sledging in the best possible way.
“I didn’t realise England were doing that, but it’s what I would have done too to try to get him irrational. But he held his own and played the situation as well as he could. That shows his mindset is improving,” said Simmons.
Blackwood also expressed how he will give more importance to his batting in future.
“When I started playing for the West Indies, I went after the bowling from ball one and didn’t give myself a chance. But now I’ve told myself to give myself more of a chance by batting as long as possible,” concluded Blackwood.