We need to toughen up - Ramdin

2015-06-06 16:32
Denesh Ramdin (AFP)

Roseau - West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin believes his team will have learnt a very harsh lesson from the Australians in the first Test here in Dominica going into the second and final match next week in Jamaica.

Australia won by nine wickets inside three days to ensure retention of the Frank Worrell Trophy, the symbol of supremacy in Test cricket between the two teams since it was introduced following the memorable 1960/61 series Down Under.

"They are a very good unit and we need to play a lot tougher cricket when we are in positions of strength," said Ramdin in reflecting on a match that came to a swift end on the third evening despite stern resistance from the fourth-wicket pair of Shane Dowrich and Marlon Samuels, who put on 144 runs, through most of the first two sessions of the day.

"We need to carry on. (It would have been better) if they could have taken it to 200-plus," the skipper suggested. "That's a very difficult pitch to get a decent start. As we saw from Adams Voges once he got a start for Australia he carried on to get a big hundred for his team."

In his first Test at the age of 35, Voges' unbeaten 130 lifted Australia from the depths of 126 for six on the second day to 318 and a first innings lead of 170.

Dowrich, also making his debut following the omission of veteran batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul ahead of the series, batted for over four hours in compiling 70 in the West Indies second innings.

But his dismissal just before tea triggered a collapse which saw the last seven wickets going down for just 35 runs and a final total of 216, leaving the Aussies to knock off the 47 runs needed to seal victory for the loss of just one wicket.

"That decision has been made. His experience is countless but we have to move on," said Ramdin in deflecting questions over the dropping of Chanderpaul when just 87 runs away from surpassing Brian Lara as the most prolific West Indian batsman ever in Test cricket.

"If Dowrich could have carried on to get a hundred it would have been brilliant," he continued. "It's something he can learn from. He stood up against one of the best bowling line-ups in the world. I'm sure he's going to go from strength to strength."

Ramdin was disappointed though in the repetitive manner in which Samuels, now the senior batsman in the West Indies side, got out in the match, notwithstanding a topscore of 74 in the second innings.

"That was a bad shot, a bad time," noted the wicketkeeper-batsman. "We lost a wicket in the over before and he got sucked into the short ball again. Hopefully he won't let it happen in the near future."

A 34-year-old with more than 14 years of international experience, including 59 Tests, Samuels top-edged an attempted hook off Mitchell Johnson to be caught by Mitchell Starc at fine leg amid the second innings capitulation, bringing an end to his determined 250-minute occupation of the crease.

Two days earlier in the first innings, he plodded around for seven runs off 39 deliveries in 55 minutes before a similar shot gave Josh Hazlewood the catch in the same position off Starc's bowling.

While Australia are expected to be unchanged for the second Test beginning next Thursday in Kingston, the West Indies have two issues to focus upon: the form of Shai Hope following a double-failure in the unaccustomed role of opening batsman and the ability of frontline spinner Devendra Bishoo to bowl long spells given continued concerns with a lingering finger injury.

Bishoo claimed six for 80 in the Australian first innings but had to leave the field twice in the latter stages of his effort to receive treatment for a problem that had ruled him out of the third Test against England a month earlier in Barbados.

Read more on:    west indies  |  denesh ramdin  |  cricket

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