Barath reflects on first day battle
LONDON – Adrian Barath said West Indies batsmen had shown great determination in their battle against England’s “pumped-up” bowlers in challenging conditions in the first Test on Thursday.
The Windies opener said it was disappointing to lose nine wickets on the opening day at Lord’s, but the visitors had fought gallantly while the sky remained overcast for most of the day and England’s bowlers, led by Stuart Broad, also exploited a helpful pitch.
“I think we played well [in the circumstances],” said Barath. “This is the first Test here [for many of us] and we played in heavy overcast conditions. England sent us in to bat and the pitch had something in it.
“Getting to 243 for nine with Shiv [Chanderpaul] still at the wicket was a good effort. We expect Shiv to get a hundred and give the total a boost. Then it’s important for us to bowl well and get among the wickets.”
Barath, playing a Test at Lord’s for the first time, defied the form book, batting through lunch to score 42 that offered West Indies a base.
“Playing at Lord’s is a special occasion,” he said. “I have thought long about how I wanted to play. We had discussions in our team meetings about their bowlers. Our coach [Ottis Gibson] was the England bowling coach at one time and this helped us a bit.
“For me, it’s building on this start that I got. Unfortunately, I did not carry on and get a bigger score. Hopefully, I will take it from strength to strength and carry on in the second innings and help West Indies win this game.”
Barath struck nine fours – mostly an array of rasping off-side drives – in an innings that lasted 101 balls, looking at ease in the conditions before he was caught at gully off Broad.
“In this series, we are looking to play the mental game,” he said. “Play with a lot of patience.
“We have to make up in our minds that we have to play and leave a lot of balls. We recognise that if we cannot do this, it will be very difficult. Shiv showed the kind of patience that’s required. He has a fantastic record in England, so that’s a bonus for our team.”
A typically resolute, unbeaten 87 from Chanderpaul propped up the batting, as the veteran left-hander again lived up to his status as the World No.1 Test batsman.
Barath hailed Chanderpaul’s contribution, as he anchored the Windies to 243 for nine in their first innings at the close.
“Shiv is very involved in our team meetings,” he said. “He’s someone who has scored over 10,000 Test runs, averaging close to 70 in England, and he has lent his expertise in team meetings. He has advised us about things like playing the ball later, picking the most effective areas to score, and having enough patience.”