West Indies’ director of cricket, Jimmy Adams, believes the regional side failed to seize the critical moments on the just-concluded tour of England, costing them a valuable series win in the three-Test rubber.
Pointing to the batting collapse in the first innings of the second Test at Old Trafford, Adams said West Indies surrendered the momentum and then found it difficult to regain their footing, especially against a quality England side.
The former West Indies captain said going forward, it was now important the Caribbean side learned to capitalise on key moments during tours if they were to come away with winning results.
“We pushed the contest to a critical point which was the latter part of that first innings of the second Test,” Adams said.
“So we’ve gone into battle and early in the battle England realise they have a fight on their hands and they dig in, and both teams spar to that critical point and … England won that critical point.
“And I can say easily from experience, when you give a team that have the capacity they have a foot in the door, a lot of good teams don’t give you a second chance [and] they didn’t give us a second chance.
“It would’ve been great if we’d had the capacity at that critical point to have held onto the lead that we had by batting England out of that game [by] posting a near-400 total.”
Having beaten England by four wickets in the opening game at Southampton, West Indies found themselves well placed on 242 for four in their first innings on the fourth day of the second Test, after rain had forced the abandonment of the third day.
But a stunning collapse saw the Windies lose their last six wickets for 45 runs and surrender a massive 182-run lead to England. Set an improbable target of 312 on the final day, West Indies collapsed to 198 all out in their second innings to plunge to a 113-run loss.
They were completely outplayed in the decisive third Test to lose by 269 runs, relinquishing their hold on the Wisden Trophy they had won a year earlier in the Caribbean.
Adams said that moment in the second Test was a learning curve which West Indies would find useful in future series.
“That is something that we have to learn from and hopefully if we go back to England in three or four years time, we’ll be better prepared to deal with situations like that,” Adams told Starcom Radio’s Mason and Guests cricket show.
“And not just going back to England but as a team, wherever we go … if we go to the subcontinent, we learn from that experience and get better at not just fighting our way to a critical point in the game where the game or the series is going to hinge, but to grab these moments.”
Adams, who has spent the last three years in his current role, said individual players also needed to assess key periods of a game in order to put West Indies into winning positions.
Several batsmen scored half-centuries during the series but none managed to convert to three figures, falling at crucial times and letting the tourists’ advantage slip.
“As a player you can be fighting your way to a critical moment where – and I speak as a batsman – you know that if you get through this particular spell, you’re home [and] dry in terms of the way the game will swing and you just have to survive a period,” Adams explained.
“Your value as a player is a lot of times dictated by your ability not just to fight to a critical point but to win it, to conquer it and to move on from there so I’m hoping there would have been lessons learnt for the group that was there.” (CMC)