|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
June 16, 2008
Chris Gayle, the West Indies captain, believes a more mature outlook from his developing squad was responsible for the competitive efforts against Australia over the past three Tests. Australia won the series 2-0 but they were strongly challenged by an improving West Indies, who pushed all three matches to the fifth day and looked far better than their No. 8 world ranking.
"The guys are really enjoying their cricket and they're becoming more mature and so on, so hopefully we can continue in the same vein," Gayle said. "We played good cricket right throughout the series but unfortunately we came out the losing side."
The result was confirmed on the final day in Barbados, where his men were pursuing a daunting 475 for victory, which was 57 runs greater than the highest successful run chase ever achieved in Tests. Gayle said West Indies genuinely felt they had a chance when Dwayne Bravo and Shivnarine Chanderpaul were building a 122-run stand.
"It was a good game today," Gayle said. "I can't fault the guys for the effort they've put in today, to put on 380 runs is pretty good but unfortunately we lost. We knew that it was not going to be easy, someone had to get a big hundred which we didn't get in this game."
A key moment came when Chanderpaul was lbw for 50 and it was only the third time Australia had managed to dismiss him during the three Tests. Despite the loss, Chanderpaul was pleased with the side's resolve throughout the series.
"We're playing the No. 1 team in the world, we're ranking No. 8 right now and nobody expected the game to go to a fifth day and all the games so far went to the fifth day," Chanderpaul said. "It's pretty well done on our behalf and I must commend the guys for the effort they've put in."
Chanderpaul said the side was not helped by the lack of a big group of senior players. "It is hard at times because you have a bunch of young guys, and they are learning, but they are learning slowly," Chanderpaul told AFP.
"When I came into the team, I had a bunch of senior fellows around - men who played their cricket tough - so it was easy for me to learn from them, but we have a whole heap of young guys and there are not a lot of senior players to guide them. But we are trying to mould them, and they are learning, but they are not learning fast enough, because at this level you need to learn fast."
He said the only way to fill the West Indies stadiums, which were empty for much of the series, was to win consistently. "In the Caribbean, we have a way of being negative," he said. "Sometimes we can be very negative, rather than positive and looking for ways to try to help each other.
"We are down. We are not the team we had in the past. We do not have the big names. We are not dominating. We are ranked at No. 8. We need help and we need the public to support us, and help us all the way."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.