Failure to capitalise on good starts in the first innings of the third Test and a lack of firepower at crucial stages in the series were among the reasons offered by West Indies cricket captain Denesh Ramdin for the loss of the just concluded home series to New Zealand.
Ramdin lost his first series as captain of the regional side when the Kiwis romped to victory by 53 runs after a bold declaration left the West Indies with a target of 308 to win in a minimum of 98 overs.
A dramatic batting collapse gave New Zealand the win that secured a 2-1 triumph after the teams came to Barbados locked 1-1.
New Zealand won the opening Test in Jamaica before West Indies bounced back to take the second Test in Trinidad and Tobago.
“I believe in our first innings when we had all those guys getting starts, the top six batters, we needed someone to carry on, past the runs and get a good lead on this pitch. Knowing how good it was and you know we didn’t get the lead that we wanted, I think we paid for that in the second innings,” said Ramdin.
“The pitch was a very good one for batting. As I said before, the guys who got starts, sixty, seventy, young Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Kirk Edwards, the top order once you get that start you should have carried on and scored big centuries for the team,” he said.
Ramdin made a comparative reference to New Zealand middle order batsman Kane Williamson, who scored an unbeaten 161 in the second innings that earned him the Man of the Match award.
Williamson, who scored two centuries in the series was also voted Man of the Series.
Thought not admitting to being caught off guard by the immediate declaration at the start of the day, Ramdin said he had expected the tourists to bat for another five to ten overs and with a good start the target was within reach.
“Chasing 300 on that pitch was gettable. When you look at the top three, four batters who didn’t get starts and how we lost the game by 50 odd runs. If the top four batters had given us a nice little partnership you never know that could have made a difference in the match,” Ramdin said.
Ramdin agreed that despite the loss the future looked good for the West Indies given the youthful talent exposed. “They bring something special. Young (Jermaine) Blackwood is very exciting, he bats at number six, he goes out there and pays his natural game. He is very young, he is energetic in the field,” added Ramdin.
Ramdin spoke of the patience of Brathwaite who made his maiden Test century in Trinidad and the all-round performance of Jason Holder who top scored in the second innings at Kensington.
The 29 year old captain who replaced Darren Sammy as captain of the Test team at the start of this series, identified management of the bowlers as one of his main learning experiences during the three match contest.
“Not having the resources like (Sunil) Narine we had to use (Shane) Shillingford and (Sulieman) Benn. Guys like Jerome Taylor who came back from a long spell, Kemar Roach from injury. I think they went well throughout the series. It was just one or two parts where we needed that wicket.
‘’The New Zealanders stuck to their thing and the lower order pulled them out at crucial times. So it was a little pressure here and there needing to get wickets, not getting the start that we wanted. We picked up wickets mostly with the new ball but with the tail-enders we were struggling to get them out at times,” ended Ramdin.