Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has announced that his side have “a real chance of achieving something special” if they manage to win the third Test in Barbados.
McCullum also noted that he was impressed with the pitch since it has something in it for both the batsmen and bowlers.
“It looks like it’s pretty good batting surface with some bounce and it should have some decent carry even though there’s not a lot of grass,” McCullum said. “Hopefully it holds throughout the game and should be able to aid the fast bowlers.
“Either way there looks a little bit in it for the bowlers but also it looks like the kind of surface that if you get in on, because it’s got good pace bounce and the outfield is fast, you can score some runs as well.”
With the series tied at 1-1, McCullum is hoping his side can perform like they did during the first Test in Jamaica, which they won by 186 runs.
“We’ve batted really well over the last 12 to 18 months and posted those scores in excess of 400 and every time we’ve done so we’ve either won or drawn a Test match,” McCullum said. “So we know that’s a key stat for us and we’ve got to make sure we try and execute that again. Sometimes you have bad days as a batting group.
“We talked about that after that last Test match, we had one bad session where West Indies bowlers to their credit bowled well and we didn’t apply ourselves as well as we should have done. We’re on notice too. We’ve got to make sure we stick to our key fundamentals and get ourselves a big first-innings score.”
If McCullum’s side were to defeat the West Indies in Barbados, it would be their first series win abroad since they beat Bangladesh in 2008.
“It certainly sets it up well and gives us a real chance of achieving something special,” McCullum said. “A series win, if we are able to achieve it, would be something that everyone in this squad, players and management included, would hold dearly for the rest of their lives. Certainly for all of us it’s a huge opportunity.”
Meanwhile, West Indies skipper Denesh Ramdin is hoping that his side can carry on performing like they did in the second Test in Trinidad, which they won by 10 wickets.
“It was important that we won in Trinidad, but what was also important was that we put in an impressive display,” Ramdin said. “We dominated…we got good runs on the board and then our bowlers got 20 wickets, which was also very good. It was a hard fought Test match and we will bring that with us.”
Ramdin described the Kensington Oval in Barbados as a special ground and added that his side must win the third Test, especially since it will be the 50th Test held at the venue.
“Kensington Oval is one of those special grounds…a place where you always look forward to coming and playing,” Ramdin said. “It is one of the top grounds around the West Indies and in the world and we will be looking to do something special to mark the landmark of 50 Test matches here.
“I have done well here – I made my highest score Test score here against England and my highest first-class score for Trinidad and Tobago here as well. So personally, I always look forward to coming to Barbados and playing here. It is a good hunting ground for me and once I get that opportunity I will look to bat time and get the runs on the board for my team.”