West Indies head coach Ottis Gibson has announced that the national team’s performance with the bat during their 186-run loss to New Zealand in the first Test in Jamaica was “bitterly disappointing”.
The West Indies were bowled out for 262 and 216 respectively, but Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul were the only two top-order batsmen to score half-centuries.
“Obviously, [I’m] very disappointed with the way we batted,” Gibson said. “By all accounts, after the first day’s play, we agreed in the dressing room afterwards that it was a flat pitch, so to have a batting performance like that over two innings is bitterly disappointing and something that we need to put right as quickly as possible.
“They have just go to occupy the crease and look at New Zealand, the way they went about it – making runs, starts, getting yourself in first, assessing the conditions, assessing the bowlers, scoring areas. We had five batsmen over two innings in our top six who made ducks and that puts your batting under pressure.
“First-innings runs have always been important. Any team that’s going to win Test matches needs big first-innings runs. New Zealand showed that in the first innings, getting 500, and we didn’t really respond. We needed to respond with a 450 or 500 score and take some more time and overs out of the game. We didn’t do that. To get bowled out on that pitch in the second innings in 48 overs is very, very disappointing.”
While Gibson may have been “bitterly” disappointed with the batsmen, he lauded the bowlers for their hard work and persistence.
“I thought the bowlers worked really hard. We went in with only two fast bowlers and two world-class spinners,” Gibson said. “When you look at workloads, I thought Jerome Taylor playing in his first Test after such a long time, stood up to that task very well and got better as the Test match went on. Kemar Roach, also, after a long layoff from injury and his shoulder surgery, got better as the Test match went on and bowled really well in the second innings as well.
“Taylor swung the new ball nicely and when he came back with the old ball, he was skillful and picked up wickets. Hopefully, he’ll be fit and get through this Test series and, going forward, make us a stronger unit by being in the bowling attack.”
Meanwhile, spinner Shane Shillingford was pleased to have scored the second-fastest half-century in Test history.
“Growing up, I never used to be a bowler. I used to be a No. 3 batsman, playing under-19s, under-13s,” Shillingford said. “The technique and all is still there, the way I like to strike the ball. My strength is to hit the ball straight. A lot of coaches, in terms of different teams, they see me bat and always tell me I will get runs. Even the Windward coach tells me that. So I am doing some work in the nets along with the assistant coach and staff on batting, and I’m glad it paid off today.”