Cricket: West Indies turned down double declaration proposal

West Indies batsman Denesh Ramdin, left, plays a shot during their test match against Australia in Sydney. Photo / AP
West Indies batsman Denesh Ramdin, left, plays a shot during their test match against Australia in Sydney. Photo / AP

The West Indies haven't been up to the challenge since the moment they arrived on Australian soil and even when offered a chance to finally give Test cricket a boost, the embarrassing tourists delivered one last insult.

Australian captain Steve Smith lamented the lack of competitive spirit in his counterparts after having his offer of a thrilling final day chase rejected by Windies skipper Jason Holder at the SCG.

Smith met with Holder as the clouds finally cleared in the rain-marred third Test on Thursday morning and proposed a double declaration that would set up a scenario where Australia were chasing 370 for victory from 70 overs.

The Windies are making a mockery of Test cricket and Thursday was another clear example, as Holder and his team denied the 6865 true believers that turned up at the SCG a chance to see a contest that actually meant something.

"Unfortunately they didn't come to the party. We offered him 370 in 70 overs which I thought was pretty generous. It'd take some very good batting to get that on a day five SCG wicket. But they weren't up for the challenge today unfortunately," Smith said.

"They would have had to declare this morning; I would have declared nought for nought and then bowled lob-ups for seven or eight overs (until they had a lead of 370).

"I spoke to Boof (coach, Darren Lehmann) who read through the rules that said you're allowed to do that kind of thing.

"(Holder) said 'give me five minutes' and went over to their team and they had a little huddle and chat or whatever they were doing. And he said their boys weren't up for the challenge. That was unfortunate."

Clearly Australia had the most to gain from gaining a result, given they're battling the numbers to assume the No. 1 Test ranking before the start of April.

A 2-0 series victory as opposed to a 3-0 whitewash doesn't help their chances of usurping South Africa and India and making history by finishing the ICC year as the No. 1 side across all three formats.

However, a Windies side that may never be invited back to Australia ever again in the summer period, should have realised that they had everything to gain from a contest as well.

Instead they yet again went through the motions as David Warner (122 not out) and Joe Burns (26) smashed a 100-run stand off just 93 balls.

By midway through the final session, with Australia 2-176, the teams shook hands on a draw.

Earlier the Windies were bowled out for 330, and Windies skipper Holder argued that the chance to break the 300 barrier for the first time in a long time was more important than trying to win the game.

"We weighed up all the options but again, we had our team goal set out before the Test match. We needed to hit the 300 mark before we left Australia," Holder said.

"That was one of our main objectives before we left Australia. We did achieve it. Massive credit to the way Denesh (Ramdin) played (62).

"It as a team vote, a team decision.

"At that stage of our development and the phase we're at we thought it was the best thing for the team (to not play ball)."

Smith said players had a responsibility to make the game more enriching for fans.

With the Big Bash League flying this summer, this Test series has been a shocking endorsement of the five-day game.

"We want to try and win every game we play and today was a perfect opportunity to set the game up for a good chase and for the fans that stayed out this afternoon," he said.

"For us that would have potentially been me bowling with three slips and two gullies and leaving every man up for them to try and hit as many as they can to try and make sure they left 370 off 70 as promised to them.

"Whatever you have to do to get that on the board was going to happen.

"No one really wants to see a draw, they want to see good, exciting cricket and teams winning. We were willing to give them 70 overs on a day five wicket and we were going to go after the runs. It's quite a lot of runs, I think that is fair game for both teams. It was just disappointing that they weren't willing to come to the party."

- news.com.au

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