CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand, CMC – Stuart Law may have only been at the helm of West Indies for nine months but the Australian says he is already pleased with the development of the side. The 49-year-old, who took over as head coach in February this year on a two-year contract, told reporters here he had made only minor adjustments but the unit had responded well and had all the makings of a strong team.
“We’ve had to change a lot of things, not drastic changes, just little tinkerings – making people understand this is what’s needed going forward,” the former Australia batsman said. “Our fitness levels have gone up, our consistency then improves on the field. I’ve always said these guys have got the skill and once they have the fitness and the idea of how to play the game, they’ll just improve out of sight.
“We’re moving in the right direction and we’ve got to continue to do so.” Law has overseen 11 Tests – winning four, losing six and drawing one. His only Test series win came against minnows Zimbabwe earlier this month when the Caribbean side claimed a 1-0 verdict in a two-Test rubber in Bulawayo.
The highlight of Law’s tenure, however, remains West Indies’ superb fightback in the second Test against England at Headingley last August, when the visitors pulled off a stunning five-wicket win on a tense final day after chasing down 322 runs.
“That win at Headingley was an outstanding effort coming out of the Edgbaston Test where we were slighted from all corners of the globe,” Law said in reference to the first Test the Windies lost by an innings inside three days.
“We had to sit down. We had a great meeting following that and we started to be really accountable for what we achieved, how we go about doing it and we put it all together.
“We got back into that Headingley dressing room “ we played out of our skins. We bowled well, we fielded well and we batted exceptionally well. “It wasn’t a surprise, I know the boys have got it in them. It’s just a matter of trying to achieve that consistently.”
West Indies are without a Test series win on New Zealand soil in 22 years and will seek to change that record when they clash with the hosts at the Basin Reserve in Wellington from December 1-5 and at Seddon Park in Hamilton from December 9-13. They face New Zealand A in a three-day match at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln starting tomorrow.