Wednesday 9th June, 2004


Confidence high

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I am very happy with the manner in which we succeeded against Bangladesh in the second and final Test.

But for a few occasions, we dominated this encounter showing that we were far better than the opposition.

It is performances like these that have me thinking very optimistically about our cricket.

We challenged ourselves throughout this game and were able to come up with a convincing victory with a day and a half to spare.

My statement before the game that I would give up the captaincy if we lost, was never really a worry.

Man of the Match and Series, Ramnaresh Sarwan must have done his confidence the world of good after his match winning double century.

My 277 in Sydney back in 1993 was also my first double in any form of cricket and I am sure Sarwan would derive the same benefits.

He will have to believe in himself that he is capable of making big scores.

This will be a big plus for the team.

I have always stressed to our players that I am not one to come down on the ones that fail.

But I am usually tough on those who have the opportunity to give us something big after a good start and then give it away.

Sarwan’s double century showed that he could concentrate beyond the small matter of a Test hundred.

I was also impressed by the return of Omari Banks to international cricket.

It is not only the fact that he picked up six wickets but Omari returned with the same enthusiasm as he left the game.

His strengths are not just on the field but he also has a great attitude and work ethic.

This resonates throughout the team whenever he is present.

I must also say that Pedro Collins showed the importance of experience. He does not have the pace of his brother nor Tino Best .

However, he has learnt how to bowl from his years of experience.

His nine-wicket haul on such a surface cannot go without recognition. The highlight of his performance was his patience and his ability to put the ball in the right areas more often than not.

While I am on the topic of fast bowlers I must express how worried I am at the spate of injuries to the young and very talented ones.

Fidel Edwards continuously finds himself on the physio table and now has had to be sidelined on at least five occasions in his short career.

Being in the dressing room, I have first hand knowledge of all the young fast bowlers who seek help for injury management. Personally I would look at their work load and maybe a good formula to keep them fit would be to allow them to play one version of the game that suits their style at this present time.

Just look at them and you would wonder how they generate such pace with such a small physique. These guys bowl in the region of 90 miles and upwards and surely the constant ‘pounding’ will accentuate injury.

Fidel had to be replaced by Jermaine Lawson because of his latest hamstring injury. He would now have an opportunity, not only to recover from this injury, but also his side-strain and shin splints that have plagued him for sometime.

I feel confident that we can do well on our first leg of the English tour. I am elated with the fact that we are playing the One-dayers first.

I have toured England with the West Indies on three occasions. In 1990 and ‘95, we played the ODIs first and even though we lost on both occasions, it helped us to acclimatise to the conditions. It also gave us a better understanding of the English players we were going to come up against in the series that followed.

That trend was broken in 2000 and under Jimmy Adams where that series took place after two Tests were already contested.

We subsequently went on to loose that series. This is the toughest conditions that anyone can encounter playing cricket and having some inexperienced players, I see the need to expose them to as much cricket under such drastic climactic conditions. Personally, I feel in good shape both physically and mentally and I am eagerly looking forward to our tour and to resume rivalry with the English team.

It would certainly be an opportunity to resume the fierce competition that was so evident in the Caribbean earlier this year.






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