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June 20, 2014
Denesh Ramdin, the West Indies Test captain, has said that his players were lackadaisical and lacked hunger amid stiff resistance by the ninth-wicket pair of BJ Watling and Mark Craig in New Zealand's second innings in the Trinidad Test. Kemar Roach finally broke the partnership at the stroke of lunch on the final day, before Chris Gayle hit the joint second-fastest fifty for West Indies to bring up a ten-wicket win, West Indies' first following five losses and one draw.
"It was frustrating, having that lower order come and put some partnership there," Ramdin said. "They created some chances, we did not take them and at the end of the day, I think we were lackadaisical in the field. We were not hungry for the last couple of wickets there. And we came back this morning with a lazy attitude and it could have haunted us. But we came out on the better end in this match."
West Indies had lost the first Test in Kingston by 186 runs. Ramdin credited positive batting and disciplined bowling for the hosts levelling the series. "It was a fantastic victory in the end. It was a hard fought one as well. Our bowlers put in a lot of effort. Our batters did the job in the first innings, which is always good, trying to set up the match.
"Coming out of the Jamaica game, what we needed to put into this game was to attack their bowlers more, be confident, play our natural game. The batting has been coming along. Our confidence going into this Test match was a lot better than the one in Jamaica. We went out and played positive cricket, took the attack to the New Zealand bowlers.
"We bowled right areas. We were more patient. We tried to cut out the four-balls. On the first day, they were 80-odd for one or two wickets and we pulled it back tea time and then bowling them out having lost the toss, any captain will take that in a day's play."
West Indies posted 460 in their first innings to take a 239-run lead which proved decisive in the end. The total was made possible by contributions from young batsmen, with Kraigg Brathwaite and Darren Bravo making hundreds and Kirk Edwards and debutant Jermaine Blackwood scoring fifties. Ramdin said these were the players who would "take West Indies cricket forward."
"Jermaine Blackwood is an exciting young player. His name has been calling for the past couple of seasons in terms of runs at first-class level. They talk about application but when you go out and the manner in which he got his runs, he applied himself as well as played his shots throughout the innings. He surprised everyone, they did not know anything about him, and hopefully next game he can get a good score and go from strength to strength. You could see the energy that he brings to the team. Always enthusiastic, he wants to learn, he wants to go in every fielding position.
"Young Kraigg Brathwaite batted well for his century. Darren Bravo was short of runs but he came out in his home ground and he did well for himself. Kirk Edwards really took the attack to the opposition and tried to be on top them from ball one.
"Brathwaite is new to Test cricket in terms of matches. Young Bravo as well in terms of matches and Kirk Edwards, all those are young guys to take West Indies cricket forward and all have been doing well. Today we (also) saw the experience of Chris Gayle, who went out there and finished the game for us."
West Indies needed to chase 93, but were unable to start their second innings for more than an hour due to rain. When they did, Gayle belted six sixes on his way to an unbeaten 80 off 46. Ramdin said he had told Gayle to express himself in the middle.
"Chasing a small total is always tricky if you lose a couple of early wickets. The way Gayle plays I told him to go out there and enjoy himself and take the attack to the bowlers. He did what he had to do and finished them off. I have seen him in the past. In South Africa, he played (an aggressive) one. He was injured and came late to bat. This one was exciting. People had come out to support and they got some entertainment."
Going into the final Test in Barbados, Ramdin said that West Indies' catching needed to be much better if they wanted to take the series. Numerous chances went down in Port-of-Spain, especially in the slips. "Hopefully we can do some work in our slip cordon so that we can take those catches when they come on. It is frustrating to drop catches of those type of batters. They put on partnerships. Hopefully we will get it right come next game."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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After the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death, this match showed that cricket and life will continue to go on. This time Test cricket dug in and got through to tea.
After a long time we have seen an Indian team and captain enjoy the challenge of trying to overcome stronger opposition in an overseas Test