Gros Islet, St Lucia: Hendy Springer, the coach of the West Indies A Team, is pleased with the performance of his boys against India A so far and says his team will keep the visitors under the pump in the third and final unofficial Test, starting at Gros Islet on Saturday.
After losing the first match by two wickets at the Kensington Oval, the young West Indies players bounced back in the second game at Arnos Vale, winning it by 125 runs and squaring the three-match series 1-1.
“I am seeing an improvement. I am seeing commitment. I am seeing hard work,” Springer said. “We have a group of young men who want to do well, who are enjoying their cricket and who are giving their all. Everyone understands what is required [of them]. This positive approach, the belief in each other, is paying off.
“We went from a situation where a few players seemed a little intimidated while going into that first match, to a place where we came to within two wickets of victory ... to the present situation, where we proved to everyone that we can perform and win at this level,” the 48-year-old added.
Springer said his team will carry the winning momentum going into the final match. “We will have that same kind of belief going into the final match on Saturday. The surface here might be a bit different to those in Barbados and St Vincent, so we will make the necessary adjustments and play what we know,” he said adding that his team’s bowlers did a very good job in bowling out the visiting India A team – which consists of some talented young players – twice in the last game.
“This Indian team is very good in batting, with the top six who have done well at the first-class level; some of them have made triple-hundreds, so to bowl them out twice and for 94 in the second innings, is a huge boost for our team,” Springer added.
Windies bowling front has been outstanding so far, with team’s fast bowler Delorn Johnson taking eight wickets – including a career-best 6 for 34 – and skipper Veerasammy Permaul grabbing nine wickets – 5 for 58 and 4 for 22 – in the second match.
In the first match, medium-pacer Jonathan Carter took a career-best 5 for 63 in the first innings, while fast bowler Jason Holder also got 5 for 55 in the second innings. “We are a much younger team than the Indians, with far less experience at the first-class and international level. So every match is about learning - learning about ourselves and learning from the opposition as well,” Springer said.
“We saw some good things in Barbados, especially the way we bowled. In the end we were beaten by a superb and mature innings by their [India] captain [Cheteshwar Pujara], and that can happen in the game of cricket. I was very happy with the fightback and resilience we demonstrated at St Vincent. The scores weren’t high but our batsmen battled hard and stuck it out in both innings.
“When we bowled we were very good. Johnson did a good job for us in Barbados and was a big support for Holder. He [Johnson] bowled with pace and also got the ball to swing on home turf in St Vincent. He showed great control from over the wicket.
“The captain [Permaul] has also been doing a great job with the ball and bat. He assessed the pitch in St Vincent very well and bowled with great control. He was given the job of captain last year and you can see he is learning with every game and is getting the full support of everyone around him,” added the coach.
West Indies: Veerasammy Permaul (Captain), Jason Holder (Vice Captain), Devendra Bishoo, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Kyle Corbin, Assad Fudadin, Delorn Johnson, Kevin McClean, Kieran Powell, Donovan Pagon, Devon Thomas (wicket-keeper)
India A: Cheteshwar Pujara (captain), Wriddhiman Saha (vice captain/wicket-keeper), Abhinav Mukund, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Rahul Sharma, Ashok Dinda, Jalaj Saxena, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Robin Bisht, Akshay Darekar, Shami Ahmed, Parvinder Awana