Batting was 'bitterly disappointing' - Gibson
Ottis Gibson, the West Indies coach, pinned the responsibility for the 186-run defeat to New Zealand in the Kingston Test on the side's batsmen, saying the performances in the two innings on a flat track were "bitterly disappointing".
West Indies made 262 and 216 in the game and only two top-order batsmen made fifties. The home side conceded a lead of 246 in the first innings and Gibson pointed out that the first-innings failure was a key factor in the loss.
"Obviously, [I'm] very disappointed with the way we batted especially," Gibson said. "By all accounts, after the first day's play, we agreed in the dressing room afterwards that it was a flat pitch, so to have a batting performance like that over two innings is bitterly disappointing and something that we need to put right as quickly as possible.
"They have just go to occupy the crease and look at New Zealand, the way they went about it - making runs, starts, getting yourself in first, assessing the conditions, assessing the bowlers, scoring areas. We had five batsmen over two innings in our top six who made ducks and that puts your batting under pressure.
"First-innings runs have always been important. Any team that's going to win Test matches needs big first-innings runs. New Zealand showed that in the first innings, getting 500, and we didn't really respond. We needed to respond with a 450 or 500 score and take some more time and overs out of the game. We didn't do that. To get bowled out on that pitch in the second innings in 48 overs is very, very disappointing."
While the batting was a let-down, Gibson said he was pleased with the efforts of the front-line bowlers, who had all come into the match after significant time away from international cricket. Jerome Taylor and Kemar Roach were battling injuries, while Shane Shillingford played his first Test since his suspension due to an illegal bowling action.
"I thought the bowlers worked really hard. We went in with only two fast bowlers and two world-class spinners," Gibson said. "When you look at workloads, I thought Jerome Taylor playing in his first Test after such a long time, stood up to that task very well and got better as the Test match went on. Kemar Roach, also, after a long layoff from injury and his shoulder surgery, got better as the Test match went on and bowled really well in the second innings as well.
"Taylor swung the new ball nicely and when he came back with the old ball, he was skillful and picked up wickets. Hopefully, he'll be fit and get through this Test series and, going forward, make us a stronger unit by being in the bowling attack."
While Shillingford finished with a match haul of 5 for 184, he had an impressive showing with the bat, slamming the second fastest Test fifty. Shillingford struck three fours and five sixes to bring up his fifty in 25 balls and, along with Sulieman Benn, nearly stretched the game into the fifth day.
"Growing up, I never used to be a bowler. I used to be a No. 3 batsman, playing under-19s, under-13s," Shillingford said. "The technique and all is still there, the way I like to strike the ball. My strength is to hit the ball straight. A lot of coaches, in terms of different teams, they see me bat and always tell me I will get runs. Even the Windward coach tells me that. So I am doing some work in the nets along with the assistant coach and staff on batting, and I'm glad it paid off today."