Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
West Indies head coach Ottis Gibson has announced that fatigue is becoming a factor as his side are on the brink of levelling the ongoing Test series against New Zealand 1-1.
New Zealand only lead by 18 runs and have two wickets in hand heading into the fifth day of the second Test in Trinidad.
“More tired than anything else,” Gibson said. “Everybody, throughout the day when they were called on, really put it in. It meant that at the back end, a little bit of fatigue started to set in and fatigue sometimes plays with the mind. But overall, the guys stayed strong for most of the day. A really good partnership was formed between Watling and Craig and we just have to ride that out.
“That’s what Test cricket is all about. That’s what I have been preaching for a long time. Curtly Ambrose has come in and he’s saying the same thing. That’s why it’s called Test cricket. It tests your character, your fitness levels, your skills. The way Watling and Craig played this evening meant that we needed to be a little more skillful. The guys got a little bit tired, you could see that. But we come back tomorrow, hopefully the rain stays away and we get the job done.”
The West Indies’ last victory against a top-eight side came, ironically, against New Zealand in August 2012. However, since then, they have only been able to beat Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
“We are a developing side. You are seeing some new young faces, Kraigg Brathwaite coming in and getting a hundred,” Gibson said. “You saw young Blackwood coming in and looking really exciting. We don’t win as often as we’d like to and I guess that’s the situation with the team. The teams at the bottom – ourselves and New Zealand – are in a similar situation and two teams battling to see who’s overall better than the next. And we have to hopefully win this game tomorrow at some stage and then go to Barbados and see if we can win the series.”
Gibson also pointed out that it was weird for the pitch not to be more spin-friendly, especially considering that it has already been used for four days.
“It’s an unusual pitch for Trinidad. Normally, by the fourth day, you’d be getting a little bit more of spin, it’d probably go up and down a little bit,” he said. “But credit to the groundsmen, they’ve produced a really good Test pitch. It had a little bit in it on the first day as the day progressed, and as the day has gone on, it’s got a lot better and better for cricket.”