Windies look to fight back in PE

2014-12-24 11:02
Shivnarine Chanderpaul (AFP)

Port Elizabeth - West Indies can look forward to more favourable batting conditions for the second Test in Port Elizabeth on Friday as they look to overcome the mental scars of collapsing on Pretoria's seamer-friendly strip.

The tourists were outplayed in the innings and 220-run defeat and will be particularly disappointed with the way they crumbled with the bat to score just 332 runs in the match in a little more than 100 overs.

However, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who has been through good and bad times before with the side in his 20-year international career, believes there is no cause for alarm.

"We're disappointed after Centurion. I think we're a better team than that," Chanperpaul told reporters.

"We just have to put it behind us and take it as a learning experience and do better in this next match.

"The guys we have here are the best in the Caribbean, that's the reason why they're here. They've all scored runs in the past, scored a lot of hundreds in regional cricket."

West Indies can at least take heart from their last visit to St George's Park where they won in a 2-1 series defeat in 2007, their only away victory against a major test playing nation since beating England in Birmingham in 2000.

The Port Elizabeth pitch is expected to be less seamer-friendly, harder and drier, taking some of the bite out of the top-ranked South African pace attack that wreaked havoc in Pretoria.

"I think conditions like this will probably bring them (West Indies) more into the game, it will be more even conditions," Proteas batsman Faf du Plessis said.

"Centurion was seaming and if our bowlers get a wicket like that they are dangerous. The PE wicket is a lot slower and spin does play more of a role so I think their bowling attack will be a lot happier.

"Their batting unit will also be happier, the ball will probably not be as quick and won't seam around, it will be a normal PE wicket, so it will suit their style of play."

Du Plessis added that the home side were also wary of a backlash from the tourists.

"The West Indies, as everyone knows, are a hot and cold team. We know and we expect that the West Indies, after a performance like that, will try to go the other way and be brilliant."

South Africa are almost certain to play leg-spinner Imran Tahir and could also hand a debut to batsman Temba Bavuma after wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock was ruled out of the series with an ankle injury. AB de Villiers will continue to keep wicket.

Read more on:    shivnarine chanderpaul  |  cricket


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