If the West Indies are going to pick themselves up and challenge for a series-levelling win in Hamilton this week, they need to find runs.

The outstanding 218 by Darren Bravo which inspired a second innings 507 to save the first test in Dunedin stands out like a black eye in terms of recent test batting performances. The West Indies have lost three of their last four tests by an innings, Dunedin the exception. Their totals against India and New Zealand have been 234, 168, 182, 187, 213, 507, 193 and 175.

At Dunedin, Bravo got help on a dying pitch from captain Darren Sammy (80), Kirk Edwards (59) and Narsingh Deonarine (52). Take that innings out and in the other seven innings, on just seven occasions has a batsman scored 40 or more. None have made centuries.

Leave their seam bowling issues aside for now. Tests can't be won without a batting foundation.


By comparison, in each of their last four tests - two in Bangladesh and two against the Windies - New Zealand have passed 400 in the first innings. Platform laid.

All of New Zealand's top seven batsmen have scored test hundreds this year. Openers Hamish Rutherford and Peter Fulton have made one and two respectively. Ross Taylor has two while Kane Williamson, Brendon McCullum, Corey Anderson and BJ Watling have one each.

New Zealand have also had some grim batting days, so Hesson is well placed to speculate what might be rattling around the West Indian minds, after they dropped 16 wickets at the Basin Reserve on Friday.

"There's always a bit of self doubt. Are we doing the right things?" he said yesterday. "If you have a bad day at the office, you do start asking yourself those questions. Without being overly confident, we've strung a few tests together when we've got over 400 so hopefully we don't have to think about that too much in the short term."

As for whether the nature of the second test win would have gone some way to breaking the West Indies' resolve, Hesson wasn't so sure. "They are ranked ahead of us in world cricket so they're a good side. We don't get too far ahead of ourselves."

14 Dec, 2013 9:00am
2 minutes to read