West Indies A's progress impresses coach Springer
West Indies A coach Hendy Springer has said that he is pleased by the commitment shown by his team to beat India A convincingly in Kingstown, St Vincent. West Indies A had bounced back from an unlikely two-wicket defeat in the first unofficial Test in Bridgetown, Barbados, to take the second game by 125 runs.
"I am seeing improvement. I am seeing commitment. I am seeing hard work. We have a group of young men who want to do well, who are enjoying their cricket and who are giving their all," a WICB release quoted Springer as saying. "Everyone understands what is required. This positive approach, the belief in each other, is paying off.
"We went from a situation where a few players seemed a little intimidated going into that first match, to a place where we came to within two wickets of victory, to the present situation, where we proved to everyone that we can perform and win at this level. We will have that same kind of belief going into the final match on Saturday."
Springer said his team's performance, when they bowled out the visitors for 94 in the second match, was made all the more impressive by the fact that they are less experienced than India A's line-up. "This Indian team [has a] top six who have done well at the first-class level, some of them have made triple-hundreds, so to bowl them out twice and for 94 in the second innings, is a huge boost. We are a much younger team, with far less experience at the first-class and international level, so every match is about learning - learning about ourselves and learning from the opposition as well."
The stars for West Indies in Kingstown were captain Veerasammy Permaul, who claimed nine wickets in the game with his left-arm spin, and left-arm quick Delorn Johnson who took a match haul of 8 for 62. The coach was impressed with both bowlers. "He [Johnson] bowled with pace and also got the ball to swing. He showed great control from over the wicket, and when he went around the wicket and got results. That match was a significant stepping stone in his development.
"The captain [Permaul] has also been doing a great job with the ball and also with the bat when required. He assessed the pitch in Kingstown very well and bowled with great control."
In the third unofficial Test, West Indies will be strengthened by the inclusion of Kieran Powell and Assad Fudadin - both batsmen have returned home following the conclusion of the senior team's Test series in England. India will have the option of playing fast bowler Parvinder Awana, who was earlier named a replacement for the injured RP Singh, but whose arrival in the West Indies was hampered by visa issues.