Denesh Ramdin has called for his team-mates to be less wasteful of their starts in Test cricket, after West Indies went down to New Zealand by 53 runs in Barbados, resulting in a 2-1 series defeat. The West Indies batsmen, Ramdin said, should learn to be satisfied only after they got "big hundreds" to their names.
"In the first innings, all our top six-seven batters got starts and nobody went on to make that big hundred. It is all in the mindset, the way we apply ourselves," Ramdin said. "If we are content with 50 or 60, we need to be bigger men and come out and fight and show what we are made of. We need to carry on from those 50s and 60s and only be satisfied with big hundreds - 160, 150 - to put the team in a commanding position.
"Test cricket is a lot of hard work and if you go out there and work hard you get the rewards for it. Hopefully this can be a stepping stone for some of the guys who did well. All the guys who didn't, it should be a wake-up call for them to do well in the future."
Ramdin singled out some of the younger players for praise, and said if the seniors could support them, it would spell more success for the team. "There were a lot of challenges along the way and a lot of positives as well. Young [Jermaine] Blackwood, Jason Holder, Kraigg Brathwaite, those guys coming in and getting runs for themselves... Hopefully they can go from strength to strength and the senior guys can pull their weight a bit more. That will augur well for the team."
Holder, on his debut Test, batting at No. 7, played out two hours on the final day in Barbados - seeing off a shot-ball barrage and attacking when it made sense - as West Indies battled to save the game. He scored his maiden Test fifty, before being bowled by offspinner Mark Craig after the ball hit a crack. Expectedly, he was disappointed not to see the team to safety. "My goal was just to take the team to the end, whether it was a win or a draw. I thought I played really well, but unfortunately got out at the last stage," Holder said. "After coming in, the situation of the game, I knew there was a lot of work to be done.
"Needed to build a partnership to start and to wear down the New Zealand bowlers as much as possible, frustrate them as much as possible. I came in with [the last recognised batsman] Darren Bravo there and we tried to build a partnership, unfortunately Darren got out."
Holder had also scored 38 in the first innings, and claimed match figures of 2 for 50 in 20 overs. Overall, he said, the Test gave him confidence that he could perform at the highest level. "I bring back that belief that I can score runs at this level. For me it was about making the adjustment from limited-overs cricket to Test cricket. I need to leave a lot more balls outside off stump, know where my off stump is, whereas, in the one day game, you tend to like to feel the ball on the bat.
"Bowling wise, it's about being patient, building pressure. On these flat wickets you can get wickets after building pressure. It's just my first game, looking to improve from hereon. It's a good start for me, but it's about being consistent."