Pakistan in the West Indies 2017 May 6, 2017

West Indies coach disappointed by 'Pakistani pitch'

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Stuart Law: 'If someone says the West Indies boys don't work hard enough, they don't know what they're talking about' © WICB

West Indies coach Stuart Law is deeply disappointed with the Bridgetown pitch, on which his team registered a stirring 106-run victory against Pakistan this week. The track, Law said, suited Pakistan more and left him "heartbroken" for his quick bowlers. Praising his side for winning convincingly despite that, he said the victory came as a result of the hard work they put in but do not often get credit for.

"I wasn't expecting what we turned up to see," Law said. "If we can't get a good coverage of grass in a tropical climate, there is something wrong. It wasn't the sort of pitch we would have liked, I know that Pakistan were licking their lips when they saw it because it was a bit like a Pakistani pitch.

"Day two when we were bowling, bouncers were landing five metres short of the keeper. We've got boys who bowl 90 miles an hour, and to see the ball do that is heartbreaking, particularly on day two. You expect it on day four, day five, no problem. But to get through the game the way we did, in those conditions, which suited the opposition more so, very proud of the effort."

West Indies' victory brought the series level at 1-1, with one Test left to play. In the first Test, they fell to a seven-wicket defeat after collapsing in their second innings to 152. Here, they conceded the first-innings lead, before a second-innings seven-for from legspinner Yasir Shah left Pakistan chasing 188. Shannon Gabriel, with help from 20-year-old Alzarri Joseph and captain Jason Holder, made sure they did not get close.

Law said the work Gabriel puts in behind the scenes to be fit and ready for the games needed applauding. "He just improves every time he goes out there. Not [just] his effort on the field, that's unquestionable, but behind the scenes, which people don't see. He goes to lengths to see he's right and in perfect physical condition every time he goes out on the field.

"He has had injury problems, but physio CJ Clarke is working tirelessly with him. Even away from the Test-match scene, he gets in early, works hard with him. And Shannon is very diligent with his preparation. When you've got a guy who can bowl 90+, you want to make sure you're looking after him, and then he produces like he did this Test, that was just outstanding work."

Much like Gabriel, Law said many in the team put in a lot of hard work away from the public eye. He said there was no shortage of talent, but improvement would only come with more exposure to Test cricket - of the playing XI in Bridgetown, only Kraigg Brathwaite has played more than 30 Tests. "They've got the talent, that's for sure. It's one thing having talent, but when you couple that with experience, you become a formidable opponent. At the moment there's not a lot of experience in our dressing room.

"The experience is coming. We've seen in difficult conditions, playing against the best legspinner in the world [we won]. He got seven wickets but a lot of boys coped with him pretty well. To keep him out for as long as we did, I think [it] shows that we are learning.

"From the first Test match we changed a few technical things with our batsmen, it seemed to work for the right handers. The work ethic…if someone says the West Indies boys don't work hard enough, they don't know what they're talking about. The boys are pretty proud of their effort, leading up to this Test match and during it, to strive for that perfect game, to strive for errors to be eradicated… We're going in the right direction."

The series decider will begin on May 10 in Dominica.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cricfan8392217476 on May 11, 2017, 6:59 GMT

    Smart guy Law defended bad pitch very well!

  • ThunderBolt11 on May 9, 2017, 8:44 GMT

    If pitches in home games are not available to teams according to their preferences, who else is to be blamed but their own administrators? India is a prime example of how they ensure they make pitches on home soil that suit their style of play thus helping them win more consistently in their own backyard than overseas. More than the tricky pitch on Day 5 or the sheer brilliance of the West Indian players, it was mainly a case of Pakistan struggling to capitalize on the chances they got. Getting the windies initially 6 down for 154 and still letting them score 312 in the 1st innings, not being able to secure a bigger 1st innings lead when it seemed at one point they would and then going about chasing 188 like it was 488 were the main causes of their demise. Nothing to take away from the West Indies who kept fighting all along but that doesn't change the fact that they are still a 2nd string side that would've been ripped into half had they been up against better opponents

  • wiremu99 on May 9, 2017, 8:05 GMT

    WI aren't all that bad look at NZ without Williamson they struggle. Most teams rely on one or two individuals, same goes for Aus with Smith to a degree.

  • Rally_Windies on May 9, 2017, 5:21 GMT

    I was wrong,,

    it was 5 years, not 6 ...

    here is the link

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/westindies/content/story/825559.html

  • icegreen89 on May 8, 2017, 17:09 GMT

    I'm just glad that West Indian cricket seems to be looking up after a very long time.

  • doosra-sheru on May 8, 2017, 14:28 GMT

    WHOA......The second Test match has shown up the weakness of the Pakistani team while the WI team has gathered momentum and will surely win the last Test match. Pakistan openers are fearful of fast bowling and the middle batting is weak because of the "old timers "since they will click once in ten starts. The fast bowling is poor except for Amir .Yasir needs a dust bowl to be a success. Good job by WICB by sticking to young team . There is no need for WI fans to call for the present IPL benchwarmers as they have become irrelevant to International cricket.The show has to go on and the young team is doing well.

  • Metman on May 8, 2017, 10:55 GMT

    @CRICFAN4440747489 ...don't know much about what that newcomer to cricket is about but he sure seems vex with every man jack and Jason Holder as though his life depends on them. I submitted these stats at the start of his road rage but they were not shown...Dwayne Bravo 40 tests..batting av.31.2,bowling stats.86 wkts @.39.83 Jason Holder 22 tests batting av.31.00 bowling stats.32 wickets @39.4 ...and yes ...people CAN judge the WHOLE of his last post and his previous one.

  • japper on May 8, 2017, 8:05 GMT

    This is the best batting line up which West Indies have been able to cobble together in the last 2 decades or so. Everyone in the top 8 are technically correct players which can't be said of the batting lineup which the Windies could muster all these years. But West indies still needs Darren Bravo to prop up that middle order. If he can somehow reconcile with the WICB and get back in the playing eleven they could be one the best test teams in the World within the next couple of years.

  • swarzi on May 8, 2017, 6:45 GMT

    @CRICFAN4440747489: Since you're saying that my post is a lie that's misleading people, I want you to submit "YOUR TRUTH" to readers of this page, as it relates to: (i) the exact number of test matches that DJ Bravo and Jason Holder have played each (ii) the No. of wkts each has taken (iii) the batting average of each (iv) their wckt taking rate per match and (v) their wckt taking rate per inngs. Please research the information and submit it, because you guys just submit a lot of nonsense without first researching what you all write, and call the truth lies! And please note: It makes no sense that anyone of us send an epistle of lies to be published on this page, just to back a mediocre player whom we support - it brings us no good, as it relates to the needs of WI cricket now. And similar to what I said about Shai Hope, if we have to wait on "all rounder" Jason Holder every 22 matches before he can come up with an acceptable all round performance with both bat and ball, God help us!

  • cricfan4440747489 on May 7, 2017, 22:40 GMT

    Mr swarzi your comment is quite misleading D j bravo has played over forty test matches mr holder has just contributed with both bat and ball in the last test and played a pivotal role in west indies winning the last test to say that he is not improving is a misleading and unfair comment.

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