Batting brings smile to Desmond's face

Mumbai, India — Desmond Haynes sat on the West Indies balcony on the first two days of the third Test match against India admiring the batting of the top order. The team’s Batting Consultant, who played 116 Test matches and is rated as one of the greatest batsmen of all time, said he was “extremely pleased” with the batting display.

West Indies closed the second day of the third and final Test match on 575-9 off 181 overs   batting two full days on a good surface at the Wankhede Stadium. It is the team’s highest score in their 10th Test match this year.

“When you looked at our team at the start of this match, with Shiv unable to play, there was a situation where India had 140 hundreds compared to our seven hundreds in Test match cricket. We had a very young batting unit and it pleased my heart to see our players, away from home after being two-nil down in the series, display the level of commitment and determination to play so well and so freely and post a very good total,” Haynes said.

“You can see they want to do well and raise their game and make West Indies cricket proud. As a batting unit we always speak about batting in partnerships and we got several very good partnerships. We have been doing some very good things in the nets and you are starting to see some results in the middle.”

The West Indies created a bit of history as the top six batsmen all made over 50   the first time such a feat was achieved by a West Indies team and just the fifth time in Test match history. Teenager Kraigg Brathwaite made a career-best 68 (184 balls, 8x4) and 21-year-old Adrian Barath scored 62 (148 balls 8x4) as they added 137 for the first wicket on the opening day.

After that Kirk Edwards (86, 165 balls 13x4) and Darren Bravo (166, 284 balls 17x4) shared a stand of 164 for the third wicket   the highest for the West Indies against India in India. Bravo and 22-year-old left-hander Kieran Powell, with his career-best 81 (149 balls, 9x4) put on 160 for the fourth wicket   the highest for the West Indies against India at the Wankhede. Marlon Samuels, the most experienced batsman in the line-up, contributed a classy 61 off 103 balls with nine boundaries.

“We are improving. I’m impressed with the commitment and the shot-selection. I have always said that what was lacking in the past was confidence. People have been saying we can’t play spin and I have been hearing that from the time I came into West Indies cricket as a player, but the players are quite capable of doing the job,” said the former West Indies captain, who joined the team in April ahead of the Digicel Series against Pakistan.

“It is a matter of confidence. I have come to realise that, now that they are feeling confident at this level of the game, we are seeing some good signs. The batsmen are showing a lot of fight and we saw that coming out of the second innings at Eden Gardens when we made over 450 [463] after being asked to follow-on.

“The batting display here with everyone contributing and working hard is pleasing for me, but I know it is also pleasing for the millions of people out there who support West Indies cricket and want to see their team do well again.”

Wed, 11/23/2011 - 17:05