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June 26, 2010
West Indies coach Ottis Gibson has criticised his batsmen for failing to capitalise on a good batting pitch by folding for a 231 on the opening day of the third Test at the Kensington Oval. West Indies won the toss in a must-win game to square the three-Test series, but the batsmen failed to recreate their resolute performance in the second Test at St Kitts, where they scored 546 and gained a three-run lead.
"It's been a disappointing batting performance again after recovering some confidence, the way we batted in St Kitts, to come and perform this way," Gibson said. "We spoke about winning the toss and batting, and putting a big score on the board, but we weren't able to do this."
Senior batsmen like Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul failed to carry on after making starts and Narsingh Deonarine couldn't proceed to a bigger score after making 46. Gayle was out inside-edging to his stumps for the third time in the series while the rest stumbled to the offspin of Johan Botha, who took 4 for 56.
"You look at a lot of our dismissals not only (here), but over the course of the series, and shot selection has been an issue," Gibson said. "You sort of talk to players about it, and try to work in the nets around shot selection, but at the end of the day, the players go out in the middle, and they are the ones you expect to execute, and execute well. This has been a massive cause for concern for us, and it is something we have to look at very carefully going forward."
Gibson said the early conclusion to the first innings could jeopardise their chances of going for a win. West Indies persisted with a two-man spin attack, and Gibson felt they would play a vital role as the pitch got older.
"We've got to win the game, we've got to put runs on the board," Gibson said. "The pitch looks dry. It looks like it will break up, and provide some turn for our spinners.
"They have been our key, and if we can get runs on the board, and the spinners bowling in a last innings, with South Africa having to chase anything above 200, then we feel we have a chance in the game still."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.