Sri Lanka v West Indies, 2nd ODI, Colombo November 3, 2015

Monsoon makes adaptability matter - Baptiste

Jonathan Carter struck with consecutive balls in mid-innings © AFP

Through the course of their visit, West Indies have witnessed the gradual onset of the north-east monsoon. In Galle, the rains restricted themselves to night-time hours. In the second Test, bad weather began to affect the cricket, washing out one full day of play. The day-long deluges have not yet set in, but the limited-overs matches may be hampered by interruptions and delays, meaning shortened matches and Duckworth-Lewis calculations are likely to feature over the next week.

Sunday's match had begun as a regular ODI, but became a 26-overs-a-side affair following a three-and-a-half hour rain delay, after West Indies had reached 40 for 3 in 14.2 overs. Interim coach Eldine Baptiste said his team would need to be prepared to make quick adjustments in the coming matches.

"The way the weather is, interruptions might continue to happen," he said. "We've just got to make sure we can be ready for whatever may come our way."

West Indies' bowlers, in particular, had been slow to react, when their ploy of bowling short to Tillakaratne Dilshan began to go awry on Sunday. The seamers had continued feed Dilshan's hook and pull, and the batsman hit 38 of his 59 runs behind square on the legside.

"It's just about adaptability," Baptiste said. "Up front when we bowled we didn't adapt quickly enough. We've got to make sure that happens. Batting wise we couldn't because we were timing it for 50 overs, but we have to make sure we switch as soon as the game changes."

West Indies are without captain Jason Holder for Wednesday's encounter - thanks to an over-rates suspension - but apart from filling the void in leadership, West Indies must also seek to balance their XI in the allrounder's absence. With Andre Russell also in doubt due to an abdominal strain, they may rely more heavily on overs from their part-timers. Chief among their casual bowlers is Jonathan Carter, who took two wickets in two balls to have Sri Lanka nine wickets down on Sunday.

"When you have a few of your top order who can bat and bowl, it can make a big difference and can bring a bit of balance to the team," Baptiste said. "Jonny did an excellent job coming on there and bowling for the first time. He nearly took us home as well. You just have to be encouraged and make sure they keep producing."

Baptiste was also encouraged by Sunil Narine's august return to international cricket. Narine returned figures 3 for 21 in his first match in 14 months. Part of that hiatus had been necessitated by problems with his action, which had been reported and suspended by the BCCI, until Narine undertook remedial measures and got himself cleared again.

"Narine's a professional and he's put the work in since he arrived," Baptiste said. "He's participating very well. The way he has bowled given what he has been through is very, very good. His spell was excellent. It brought us right back into that game. A little more luck and we would have won that game."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

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  • Ali on November 3, 2015, 19:28 GMT

    why de france did WICB make Simmons leave his job with Ireland ..

    Baptiste was short listed for the job and lost out in the interview process...

    Now Baptiste is a selector and he is undermining the coach, and has taken up the coaching job ....

    If WICB does not punish Baptiste for his underhanded behavior , then they should have just given him the coaching job in the first place ...

    they OBVIOUSLY have enough trust in him to let him get away with murder ...

    I dare say that Baptiste is using his position as a selector, and the influence of his friends to make Simmons's life difficult so that he (Baptiste) can create a REASON to ax Simmons so that he can get the job that he wanted, instead of the one that he has ...

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