Birmingham: West Indies opener Adrian Barath has urged the team to finish their Test campaign against England with a flourish, despite already being 2-0 down in the three-match series. The tourists head into the finale, which starts at Edgbaston on Thursday, on the back of convincing five-wicket and nine-wicket defeats at Lord's and Trent Bridge respectively. "It's important, having not had any wins in the series so far, that we finish well in this last Test," Barath said at Edgbaston here on Tuesday. "There is a lot at stake."
The West Indies have won just two of their last 32 Tests - against Pakistan and Bangladesh - amid a sequence that includes 16 defeats and 14 draws. But recently they have demonstrated, occasionally at least, indications of at least becoming harder to beat. "The pride of West Indies cricket has been showing some signs of improvement, doing well for the last couple of months," said Barath, a member of a top order that has repeatedly struggled against England.
"It's about getting a Test win; getting a win against England," said Barath, keen to improve on a disappointing run of scores - 42, 24, 0 and 7 - in the Test series thus far. "It's definitely nothing impossible for us," added the 22-year-old right-hander, who scored a century on his Test debut against Australia at Brisbane in November 2009.
"We showed at Lord's, where we got those early wickets. If we had carried on getting wickets, anything would have been possible."
But much of West Indies' good work in Tests of late has been undone in the space of a session - their collapse to 61 for 6 at stumps on the third day at Trent Bridge being a case in point. "Where we need to move forward in our cricket is carrying on for five days," Barath said. "Sometimes we dominate the game for three days, but then we mess up in one session. That is what Test cricket is all about - it's not a couple of hours; it's over the course of five days. You have to be on the money every day, every hour, every over."
The arrival of 'mystery' offspinner Sunil Narine, fresh from starring in the Indian Premier League, where he took 24 wickets for champions Kolkata Knight Riders, in place of injured paceman Kemar Roach has been welcomed by Barath. The 24-year-old could make his Test debut at Edgbaston and Barath said: "It's great to have him. He's obviously made a name for himself even before he's played a Test. I've played a couple of matches with him this season and it wasn't easy. Most of the batsmen were really guessing and just sticking their bat out. I was fielding at bat-pad and I had a lot of catches there. Obviously the conditions are different - the ball doesn't turn as much in England - but by the fourth and fifth day, any good spinner will extract spin."