Clarke - Rain cost both teams
PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD - Australia skipper Michael Clarke said that rain had cost both his team and the West Indies a chance of winning, the second Test match at the Queen’s Park Oval yesterday.
West Indies left to chase down 215 runs for victory off 61 overs, were 53 for two when the rain came down to wash out the rest of the game. Speaking at the post-match press conference Clarke said: “Rain cost both teams. When the umpires initially came off for bad light we wanted to play. Darren Sammy was out there batting at the time and we consulted and wanted to continue playing but they said the light was too bad. “I even told the umpires that I would use spin at both ends because of the light but they said we could not continue. At that point I would have brought on Nathan Lyon to bowl because I thought that if we had a chance of winning, he would have had to bowl from that point all the way through.”
On his bold declaration Clarke said: “Ever since I started playing for Australia I wanted to win matches and now as captain I am in a much better position to force wins by making these decisions. “I think that the team plays better when we go out there with the belief that we can win every match and we are not going to stop playing like this. “I know that times would come when a few of these decisions would backfire and we might lose some matches but we are willing to take that risk.”
Australia go into the next Test in Dominica without fast bowlers Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle. Both men had injuries to their lower back and Siddle flew out yesterday morning, while Hilfenhaus goes home this morning. Clarke said losing these two guys is disappointing but the Aussie bench is strong.
“Obviously it is disappointing to lose these guys but we have depth in the squad and it now gives a chance to Mitchell Starc who has bowled wonderfully well this year. Ryan Harris is rested and fresh again for the next Test and we will also have the option of playing two spinners again.
“The pitch in Dominica may be just as what we have experienced in the Caribbean this trip, so we have to take that into consideration as well.” Meanwhile, West Indies captain Darren Sammy says his team is very disappointed that the rain intervened. “We were all positive going out to chase the total and the guys are disappointed with the outcome.
“I came in at three to give the innings some impetus after the early loss and we also had Shivnarine Chanderpaul to come and we know he is in form and could have changed his game, if the situation came to that.”
Sammy said he was not surprised by the decision made by Australia to declare at 160 for eight. “Nothing surprises me with them, after the declaration in Barbados. It was good for the game and we tried to do our part in bringing a positive result as well.”
Sammy credited Windward Islands manager Lockhart Sebastien with the improvement in his batting. “When we played against T&T here the manager spoke to me about a slight change in my stance and I think that has made a great difference to my game.”
Looking forward Sammy hinted that Ravi Rampaul could well play his first Test in the series. “Fidel has complained about a little niggle, so we have to look at this and Ravi may have to come in for the final Test. He bowled really well for us last year and we know that he is anxious to come out and play.” The West Indies will welcome Guyanese Assad Fudadin for the final Test.
“Fudadin was the second highest run scorer after Narsingh Deonarine in the regional tournament and he deserves his place. We are going to welcome him and every man in the squad has a good chance of playing in the Test. We know he can play spin very well and this would factor in our minds when we pick the final team.”