PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin has chastised his team for their “lazy attitude” in the field and says they need to improve ahead of the decisive third Test which bowls off next Thursday at Kensington Oval.
The Caribbean side won the second Test at Queen’s Park Oval by ten wickets yesterday to level the three-Test series at 1-1 against New Zealand, but not before the visitors’ lower order had run them ragged and caused them several anxious moments.
Trailing by 239 on first innings, the Black Caps were reduced to 212 for eight in the first hour after tea on Thursday’s fourth day, but rallied to 331 all out at lunch yesterday as the last two wickets put on 119 runs.
“It was frustrating, having their lower order come and put on that partnership. They created some chances but we didn’t take them. At the end of the day, we were lackadaisical in the field, we were not hungry enough for the last few wickets,” Ramdin told reporters following the win.
“We came back this morning with a lazy attitude and this could have [come back to haunt us] but we came out on the better end in this match.”
On 257 for eight overnight, New Zealand added 74 runs in the morning session with BJ Watling and Mark Craig, the overnight not out batsmen, both completing half-centuries.
Watling struck an unbeaten 66 while Craig, in only his second Test, got a top score of 67, as they extended their ninth wicket stand to 99 before being separated.
The Windies also squandered golden opportunities to remove Craig in the third over of the day when Sulieman Benn and then Chris Gayle muffed chances in the slip cordon off successive deliveries from pacer Jerome Taylor.
Ramdin, in his second match as Test captain, said his bowlers needed to attack the New Zealand lower order batsman more while his slip fielders needed to step up their game.
“We have to get at them (batsmen) a bit more, let them play at balls and hopefully we can do some work on our slip cordon so we can take those catches when the ball comes,” Ramdin said.
“It is frustrating to drop catches off those type of batters, they put on partnerships and it’s always frustrating and hopefully we’ll get it right come the next game.”
Ramdin was also critical of his own captaincy, pointing out that his field placement also needed improvement.
He was guilty of negative tactics, setting defensive fields from as early as the first over on the final day, allowing both Watling and Craig to pick off singles and ease any pressure.
“It (captaincy) is challenging I would say, it is not something I am accustomed to in terms of West Indies level but hopefully with more games to come, I will go from strength to strength,” the wicketkeeper/batsmen noted.
“There is a lot of improvement [I can make]. In terms of field placing, looking back at the game in hindsight, there are things we could have done better but hopefully come Barbados, we can get those things right.
“It will be a different pitch, different atmosphere and we would love to get a good result there as well.”
Set 93 for victory, West Indies defied a frustrating rain delay at the start of their second innings, to race to victory without losing a wicket.
They were led by big-hitting opener Chris Gayle who smashed an unbeaten 80 from just 46 balls. His 28-ball 50 was the second fastest by a West Indies batsman in Tests.
Ramdin hailed the team’s performance, especially following on from the heavy 186-run loss in the first Test last week at Sabina Park.
“It was a fantastic victory in the end, a hard fought one as well. All our bowlers put in a big effort and our batsmen did the job in the first innings which is always good in trying to set up the match,” Ramdin said.
“Coming out of Jamaica, what we tried to do was attack their bowlers some more, be confident and play our natural game.”