KINGSTON, Jamaica – Captain Jason Holder said there was no “quick fix” to his side’s batting problems after they collapsed in the second session on the fourth day to lose the decisive second Test by 257 runs yesterday.
Set an improbable 468 for victory at Sabina Park, the home side were 145 for four at lunch before almost predictably losing their last six wickets for 65 runs to be all out for 210 in their second innings, a half-hour before tea.
West Indies were dismissed in their first innings for 117 and it followed their dismal showing in the second innings of the Antigua first Test when they were bundled out for 100 – their sixth lowest-ever total against India.
“I don’t think it’s a quick fix. I think it’s a situation in the Caribbean where we are not really spoilt for choice in terms of batsmen coming through the region,” Holder said.
“We have got to put things in place to make sure we keep developing players, make sure players are doing the right thing to be successful at this level.
“There is still a lot more emphasis to be put on franchise level and first-class cricket, and that’s where we are going to build players. They’ve got experience and scenario-based experience, and when they come on to [play] Test cricket, it becomes a little bit easier.”
There was a complete failure of the batting group throughout the series with none of the specialist batsman averaging over 18.
Shamarh Brooks, in only his second Test after making his debut in the Antigua match, was the only West Indies batsman to get a half-century in the series when he made exactly 50 on Monday’s fourth day.
Experienced opener Kraigg Brathwaite had an especially wretched series, scraping 28 runs from four innings. He averages 12 over his last nine Tests. He has not passed 50 in his previous 19 Test innings and last did so in July 2018 when he got a century against Bangladesh in Kingston.
Holder said it was important now that players took the time to examine their games during the next few months.
“It’s a tough question and we don’t have any answers as yet [to the batting woes],” Holder noted.
“I think it’s an individual thing and we need to pay special attention during this off period. We have a bit of time off and it’s up to the guys to take ownership of their individual games.”
However, Holder was full of praise for the bowling group, especially the fast bowlers who shouldered the bulk of responsibility during the series.
Seamer Kemar Roach was outstanding but bowled without much luck to grab nine wickets at 22 runs apiece while Holder finished with eight wickets, also at an average of 22.
“Kemar has been outstanding. I said to him in the dressing room and generally that he is one of my motivating factors. To see the effort that he comes and gives it just really pushes me,” Holder pointed out.
“Shannon (Gabriel) went off in this game and we had Miguel (Cummins) going off in the last game so it wasn’t an ideal situation for us as fast bowlers. We’ve been in the field every single day except for this day so it’s been a situation where it’s been a heavy workload on the fast bowlers.
“But every single time I called on Kemar, every single time I called on Shannon they’ve never said no and for me, that’s been motivating enough. Ideally, I wouldn’t have liked to bowl so many overs but that’s just how the game has gone.
“Somebody has to bowl the overs. It’s a situation where we’ve got to put our heads together as a bowling unit and get the job done.”
West Indies were completely outplayed in the series and have now gone 17 years without a single Test win over the powerful Indians.
Holder said, though, the home side had reaped success in the recent past so though the series result was disappointing, there should not be cause for despair.
“I think in Test cricket we’ve done reasonably well over the last two or three years,” Holder contended.
“This is a bad series for us obviously but we’ve had lots of success in Test cricket, not primarily winning series but we’ve won quite a few Test matches in the last two or three years, so I’m not too disheartened by the Test performance.
“I think we’ve got enough in this Test group to encourage us to keep going. We’ve just got to put it together more often than not. We’ve got match-winners with the ball and we’ve been finding one or two bright spots with the bat but just no consistency.” (CMC)