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Bravo wants more runs at the top

West Indies may promote Shivnarine Chanderpaul to No.3 to bring more stability at the top

Cricinfo staff

Jerome Taylor is almost certain to play after missing the first ODI due to a shoulder injury © Getty Images
Having lost their captain, Chris Gayle, with a broken thumb and hamstring injury, West Indies are contemplating promoting Shivnarine Chanderpaul to No.3 in their bid to square the five-match one-day series against South Africa after losing the opening game at Centurion on Sunday.
Speaking on the eve of the second game at Newlands, stand-in captain Dwayne Bravo said the new opening combination of Brenton Parchment and Devon Smith would be persisted with, with Chanderpaul moving one notch up the order, ahead of Marlon Samuels.
"We need to get better starts at the top," Bravo said after the team's practice session on Thursday. "There might be a change in the order with Chanderpaul going up to No. 3 for more stability."
The top order failed to convert their starts at Centurion, losing half their side with the score on 72. Runako Morton and Darren Sammy led a late revival to lift the score to 175 in 36 overs but it wasn't enough as South Africa coasted home with two overs to spare.
Coach John Dyson also concurred with Bravo, he didn't use the inexperience of the opening combination as an excuse, despite being up against bowler-friendly conditions. He said the newcomers in the squad should utilise this opportunity to step up and make the most of it if the conditions are more batting friendly.
"[Sewnarine] Chattergoon's played before, Parchment of course is brand new, and Devon will be looking at his tour so far and saying to himself, 'I could have done better,' " Dyson said. "So whoever gets the job tomorrow, it's got to be in their mind that this is an opportunity to cement their place in the squad."
West Indies will be boosted by the return of fast bowler Jerome Taylor, who batted and bowled in the nets after injuring his shoulder in the Twenty20 international in Johannesburg. It is uncertain, however, who he would replace as Sammy turned in a good performance with the bat to cover for his expensive spell of 1 for 57 in seven overs.
Graeme Smith, the South African captain, said he was pleased to see the competition for places pushing his players to perform at their best. However, he touched upon the need to restrict the run scoring in the death overs. The bowlers couldn't halt West Indies' late revival at Centurion, with Morton and Sammy adding 69 for the seventh wicket.
"We've bowled very well up until about ten overs to go, but I don't think we've finished really well," Smith said. "That's something we've been discussing and working on.
"I'd like to see guys really contributing in the last ten. If teams have got momentum going into the last five overs, it becomes difficult to pull it back."
South Africa will be forced to make a change, with allrounder Justin Ontong ruled out for the next two games with a knee injury. Smith said South Africa would probably go in with the same line-up which beat New Zealand at Newlands last month, with Herschelle Gibbs returning to open the innings and AB de Villiers dropping down to No.6. Offspinner Johan Botha is likely to replace Ontong.