LINCOLN, New Zealand (CMC) — West Indies’ latest batting recruit Sunil Ambris has been praised for the way he has transformed his game in order to make the rise to the international level.
The 24-year-old has scored heavily over the last year, subsequently forcing his way into the West Indies one-day squad before being recently called up for the Test tour of New Zealand.
He sent a clear signal to tour selectors with an audacious 153 off 145 balls in the three-day tour match against New Zealand A which ended here Monday.
“Having seen Sunil at the Under-19 level — he obviously toured Australia with the West Indies in 2012 when I was coach — I know Sunil quite well,” said Assistant Coach Roddy Estwick.
“What he has done [since then], he’s made adjustments to his game. He doesn’t hit the ball much in the air at all, he knows where to find a single, he’s quite organised. He’s carried the good form forward.”
The right-handed Ambris was in superb form in the last first-class season, amassing 608 runs at an average of 43 — including a cracking double century of 231 against Leeward Islands Hurricanes in March.
He also piled up 423 runs in the Regional Super50 to be one of the leading run-getters.
On the one-day tour of England last September he stroked an unbeaten 38 in his only innings before returning to the Caribbean to plunder two centuries in the two-match four-day “Test” series against Sri Lanka A.
“I thought he batted well in the one game he played in England, and he went to the A team and got two centuries as well, so he’s brought that confidence and that form [with him],” Estwick noted.
Last weekend’s hundred helped Ambris press his case for a spot in the starting XI in the first Test against the Black Caps bowling off December 1 in Wellington.
But Estwick said, aside from Ambris’s form, what had impressed him even more was the player’s attitude to improvement.
“What I admired most about him when the fast bowlers wanted to have a workout during the first day [of the tour match],” Estwick recalled, “Sunil was the first to put his pads on and he said to me ‘I’m batting the five best fast bowlers in the region’ and the best five fast bowlers had about an hour, hour-and-a-half bowling at him.
“He was able to bat them and he took that knock straight out in the middle and you could see the benefits from it.”