Cricket: Windies look for positives to feed on

By David Leggat

Darren Bravo. Photo / Getty Images
Darren Bravo. Photo / Getty Images

There's a determined chin-up attitude in the West Indies camp, and put much of that down to proceedings over the last two days in Dunedin a week ago.

Facing a hefty first test defeat at University Oval, the West Indies batsmen dug deep and saved the match.

The odds are they'll need a repeat with three days left at the Basin Reserve, and their double centurymaker from University Oval, Darren Bravo, and their most experienced operator, Shiv Chanderpaul, are already back in the pavilion.

Still, you tend to get nothing if you don't retain a degree of positivity. Step forward assistant coach Stuart Williams.

"It's frustrating, but you can't press the panic button," the former West Indies opener said last night.

"There are three days to go and we are still in it. It's about creating a good environment."

Among the frustrations for the tourists were five dropped catches in New Zealand's first innings, which cost the West Indies 187 runs. The bulk came from Ross Taylor, spilled at third slip on 0, on his way to 129.

"The difference between this game and last was at least we created more chances," Williams said.

"Our fielding wasn't up to international standard but it's a work in progress and you'll have these days sometimes."

Williams was talking about a subject he's familiar with, having been a fine slip catcher during his international career through the 1990s.

Fast bowler Tino Best has boundless enthusiasm but had a 'mare in the field, spilling two skiers in the deep. Williams offered a consoling thought.

"Tino will always be his normal self. He is one of life's characters," he said.

"He has a positive attitude and will forget about it very quickly. He gives you energy on and off the field. Having a bad spell won't deter him."

As for the West Indies batsmen, Williams likes what he's seeing, but is well aware the process takes time. Opener Kirk Edwards has scored back-to-back 50s in the series; Kieran Powell had a solid ODI series in India en route to New Zealand and Bravo has plenty about him.

"The younger guys are looking good. They are coming through slowly and it's a work in progress," he said.

"They won't set the world alight straight away but hopefully these are the future."

- NZ Herald

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