Dyson pleased with Nash's performance
West Indies coach John Dyson has tagged Brendan Nash as an example for emerging batsmen to follow. Dyson described the reliance on four or five players in the two recent drawn Tests against New Zealand as "unfortunate" but said Nash had made a "significant contribution" in his first series.
"We're obviously challenging the other players, the younger players, to step forward and show their true ability," he said. "With the experienced players, they're the stars because they're the long-term performers. Every team looks to its experienced players to perform but we need the lesser lights to go with them and make significant contributions."
He noted that some members of the team "have been around for a little while" and are due to make an impact in the remaining limited-overs matches on the tour.
In his first Test series since leaving his native Australia two years ago to fulfill his goal of qualifying for Jamaica, the country of his parents, and the West Indies, the diminutive Nash was one of five key players against New Zealand along with captain Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Jerome Taylor and Fidel Edwards.
His 162 runs in three innings included scores of 74 and 65 in the second Test and two vital partnerships at difficult stages: with centurion Shivnarine Chanderpaul in the first innings and captain Chris Gayle in the second.
The West Indies were reduced to 74 for 4 before lunch on the first day of the second match in Dunedin after opting to bat, when Nash stayed for three-and-a-half hours in helping Chanderpaul revive the innings. After he drove a catch to short extra-cover, the next five batsmen contributed 29 between them, as Chanderpaul advanced to his unbeaten 126.
Behind by 64 on the first innings, the West Indies were 106 for 4 the second time round as Xavier Marshall and Chanderpaul, the rock, were dismissed by successive balls from off-spinner Jeetan Patel. When Nash was bounced out by James Franklin later, Gayle had passed his hundred and the total had moved to 230 for five.
When Denesh Ramdin and Jerome Taylor followed cheaply, Fidel Edwards was promoted from No. 11 to No. 9 to partner Gayle. It was a strong message to Daren Powell and Sulieman Benn who were relegated after their first innings dismissals to careless strokes.
Edwards recognised it for what it was. He remained almost two and a half hours all told, a lesson in lower order responsibility, and actually outlasted Gayle in a stand of 70.
West Indies altered the balance of their attack from one Test to the next, preferring Benn's left-arm spin to debutant Lionel Baker's pace.
Neither caused problems on ideal batting pitches, Baker going without a wicket from 25 overs in the first Test, Benn claiming one (on an lbw referral) from 41 overs in the second.
Dyson repeated the point he has made since taking up the post just over a year ago - that the ideal situation would be able to travel with a pool of players, enabling the selection of a balanced team "for all surfaces".
"Unfortunately, numbers dictate you can't do that," he said.
He noted that, during his time, the West Indies have played on "some dead-set flatties," using Australian cricket-speak to describe lifeless pitches.
"It's important that we choose a squad that does enable us to pick a spinner if conditions so dictate," he said. "Whether it's Sulieman Benn, Nikita Miller, Amit Jaggernauth or Dave Mohammed would depend who we're playing against, on what sort of wicket you end up with, on the ground you're playing on. So there are a number of factors".