Barath hails determined fightback

Kolkata, India — Adrian Barath said the West Indies were determined to dig in deep in the second innings on Wednesday after a batting failure in the first innings on the third day of the second Test at Eden Gardens.

The little right-handed opener said the team regrouped and refocused after their shock 153 all out in reply to India’s mammoth 631-7 declared. Asked to follow-on the Windies closed the day on 195-3, still needing another 283 to make the home side bat again with two days left in the match.

Barath, who made a comeback to the team after a lay-off due to injury, made a fighting 62 off 105 balls with 10 boundaries. He added 93 for the second wicket with Kirk Edwards, who again showed his mettle with 60 off 128 balls with six fours and a six.

“We were determined to make sure we would not collapse again. We knew we had to fight like we were fighting with all we had and we want to continue the fight into the fourth day,” the 21-year-old said after the day’s play.

“It is vitally important to make India bat again. I think we just need to continue batting as long as possible and make India bat again. We need to bat all day tomorrow [Thursday]. Obviously it was about assessing the wicket. I think we did not bat as well as we should have in the first innings. Basically, we learnt from our mistakes in the first innings and we applied ourselves a bit more.

“It shows that as a team we are capable of playing spin well. I think it was just a matter of application in the first innings. The conditions were a bit difficult for the openers to bat in the first innings. It was not easy out there. The spinners were getting turn and the seamers were quite accurate. My game plan was not to allow them to get me bogged down and I was able to rotate the strike with Kirk and we were able to build a good partnership.”

Barath announced himself on the international stage two years ago at age 19 with a blazing 104 on debut against Australia at the Gabba. He became the youngest West Indian to make a Test century. Since then he has been hit by injuries, but is determined to stay fit.

“I have been away from international cricket for probably around a month. So it was important for me to get back in the groove. I am thankful for getting a half-century but I think I should have carried on and gotten a big one. I went out there and tried my best to get West Indies off to a good start.”

Play will re-start on Thursday at 8.30 am (11 pm Wednesday Eastern Caribbean Time/10 pm Jamaica Time). At the crease will be veteran left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul on 21 not out and Darren Bravo unbeaten on 38. When Chanderpaul reached seven he became only the second West Indian after Clive Lloyd to make 2,000 Test runs against India.

Barath believes Chanderpaul and Bravo can do the job.

“It will be important tomorrow morning for Bravo and Chanderpaul to continue and play the way they have been doing so far. I think they just need to continue batting as long as possible and make India bat again. We need to bat all day.

“Chanderpaul is the key player for us tomorrow. He can bat through tomorrow and make it difficult for the Indian bowlers. He can take the game into the fifth day and make them bat again. He looks very determined, eyeing 10,000 Test runs. He definitely has plans to take the match into the fifth day.”

On a personal note Barath said he was pleased to get back onto the field and make an impact. He said working with Batting Consultant Desmond Haynes, the West India batting great, has been a great help.

“It is a privilege for me to have someone like Desmond Haynes as part of our team. Being an opening batsman it is great because he has the experience of playing on different pitches around the world against different oppositions. He has the experience and he can add a lot to this team. It is obviously a work in progress and we always try to pick his brain and gain all the knowledge we can.

“He is doing a good job and definitely it is a step in the right direction. He was a sort of guy who took the bowlers on. He definitely dominated some of the best bowlers in the world. He always tells us to be positive and don’t allow bowlers to get on top of us.”

Wed, 11/16/2011 - 13:38