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March 24, 2008
Ramnaresh Sarwan says West Indies have been done no favours by a Providence Stadium pitch more typical of Sri Lankan grounds than Caribbean conditions. Sri Lanka have dominated the first Test in Guyana and Sarwan, who battled through 199 balls for his 80, said more pace and bounce would have been welcome.
"The surface here is very similar to the ones they play on in Sri Lanka," Sarwan said after the third day's play. "When I toured Sri Lanka a few years ago it was the same sort of surface, Mahela [Jayawardene] seems to know the conditions pretty well with the sort of field placements that he has been putting forward to us.
"You have to take into consideration the opposition you are playing against, whether you want a track that is faster and bouncier. So probably we want the opportunity to play on something that has more pace and bounce but that didn't happen so we have to try and continue working hard as a team and try to work through that."
It has not been an easy task in the first three days and West Indies need their last pair, Jerome Taylor and Daren Powell, to add eight more runs on the fourth morning to avoid the follow-on. Sarwan was the only man to score a half-century as the home team finished the day at 269 for 9, and he said he never felt 'in' against Muttiah Muralitharan, who grabbed three wickets, while Chaminda Vaas also collected three.
"Obviously they have the experience of Chaminda Vaas who has been doing this year in year out for them, especially on the flat surfaces they play on in Sri Lanka," Sarwan said. "So basically it wasn't a surprise to me because they know the conditions here pretty well.
"You have to give credit to Sri Lanka. Their bowlers were pretty patient and the fact that they were bowling on one side of the wicket, they were having an attacking and a defensive field so it was pretty hard to get runs and also the discipline they showed."
Sarwan conceded poor shot selection contributed to West Indies' poor showing but he was confident they were not yet out of the match. "First of all we have to save the follow-on then analyse it and put ourselves in a decent or good position," Sarwan said.
"There is still a lot of time left in the game. We have to make sure we play well as a team and continue to have a lot of partnerships going whether we're bowling or batting."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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