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'West Indies need to bat like Indians'

Agencies
Nov 15, 2011 at 10:52pm IST

Kolkata: Buried under a pile of runs, West Indies will have to take a cue from the way India batted and stay positive for the remaining three days of the ongoing second Test in Kolkata, visiting team manager Richie Richardson said on Tuesday.

In reply to India's massive 631-7 declared, the tourists were struggling at 31-2 in their first innings at stumps on the second day and were staring at their second successive defeat in the three-match series.

But Richardson said the Caribbean side can save the match, provided two of their main batsmen score centuries.

'West Indies need to bat like the Indians'

In reply to India's massive 631-7 declared, West Indies were struggling at 31-2 in their first innings on Day 2.

"We would like to bat the way India batted. It's a very good batting wicket. India played exceptionally well. We would like to bat the same way. But it's not going to be easy as the Indian bowlers will put pressure. We have to make sure that we bat two days," the former West Indies skipper said.

"When you see a such big total, you think it's difficult. But you have to assess the situation and tell yourself 'look we can do it too'. It's a good wicket. If two guys get stuck in and get centuries we can avoid defeat. We have to bat ourselves to a good position."

"If our batsmen spend some time at this wicket, runs are bound to come as stroke-play gets quite easier. Basically, it's all about playing each ball on its merit," he added.

Richardson reiterated that the Eden strip is ideal for batting.

"The Indians made full use of the very good batting wicket. It's a flat wicket and the Indians have capitalised. It will be tough for the bowlers. We hope our batsmen can go there and show positive intent without playing rash shots."

"If players like (Rahul) Dravid, (VVS) Laxman and (MS) Dhoni get going, it gets awfully difficult for even the best of the bowlers. Our bowlers, for their part, tried their very best, but couldn't do much on a surface loaded heavily in favour of batsmen. It wouldn't be fair if all the blame is put on bowlers alone."

Lauding the Indian duo of Rahul Dravid (119) and VVS Laxman (176 not out), Richardson said young batsmen should follow their footsteps.

"Both of them have tremendous determination. They are example for young aspiring batsmen," he said.

"They are different players. I don't like to make comparison. I like both of them. Dravid is solid as a rock. He doesn't take chances, he prefers to stay as long as he can. Laxman, on the other hand, is pretty easy-going, a wristy player and plays his shots."

Richardson is currently part of one of the weakest West Indies side to tour India, but he said the Caribbean team was showing signs of improvement.

"You have got to accept sometimes that you cannot be best all the time. You get to look at areas where you need to develop and believe in yourselves. When you are down, you have got to find ways and means to get up there."

"We have talented players. We have an exceptional leader in (Darren) Sammy and the boys are showing improvement. There can't be a miracle turnaround. With time we will get back there."

"We have a good team at the moment. The young players are learning fast. We have got Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who is a great person, batsman and player. We are pretty happy with the commitment shown by the players. We don't have any discipline issues. They are committed to training hard and working hard. It's just a matter of time."

The Eden Gardens has witnessed a poor crowd turnout in the ongoing match so far, recording less than 10,000 attendance on both days, but Richardson refused to buy suggestions that Test cricket was in danger.

"I hope not. I think Test cricket is very important. It is the real cricket. Every cricketer should aspire to play for his country. If you want to learn the basics of cricket, you have got to play Test cricket. But we have to get the right balance with T20 and ODIs."

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