Lavishing praise on his bowlers for their disciplined show on day two, West Indies’ coach Phil Simmons said they would now look to get the remaining Indian wickets and urged the batsmen to step up to help them bounce back in the second cricket Test.
India could score only 232 runs in the 88 overs bowled on the second day to finish at 358/5 at stumps and Simmons said he could see a lot of improvement in his bowlers.
“I think it was a lot better. Usually you average a day to be 270 in Test cricket with 90 full overs and we have restricted them, especially with KL Rahul going the way he was and then the skipper later. Restricting them to 230 in 90 overs shows there’s improvement from Antigua,” Simmons said.
“The only thing we can do is to come again tomorrow and work hard to get the wickets that we have to. And then the batsmen have got to stand up because the bowlers have stood up today. Hopefully they will stand up again tomorrow morning and we get the wickets we need,” he added.
Indian opener KL Rahul, who scored 158 today, was also full of praise for the opponents who bowled tight lines and didn’t let any batsmen get away quickly.
It was a stark contrast from the first Test, wherein runs had come off very easily for the Indian batsmen.
“We have plans for everybody, to get their wickets and stop them scoring. We got Kohli cheaply this time, which is good for us. But we have plans for every batsman so its about how we execute what plans we have for them,” said the coach.
“I think the bowlers learned today what we have been talking about for the last six months, about being patient in Test cricket. And when the wicket isn’t assisting like this one you have to be patient.
“Then the pressure that you build from patience will get you wickets. They are seeking the patience now, and they are trying to hold these world class batsmen,” he added.
The coach, meanwhile, defended his team’s ploy of batting first on a damp pitch as the West Indies were bowled out for 196 in their first innings.
At the same time, he warned the batsmen to be careful against spin in their second outing.
“Batsmen are supposed to bat. I didn’t think there was any threat in the wicket yesterday. So I would bat first bat again,” he said.
“Ashwin is the number one bowler in the world. He is going to be difficult on any wicket you play him on, let alone a wicket that’s turning and has some bounce too. It’s going to be difficult but that’s what Test cricket is about.
“If its not difficult it won’t be called Test cricket. The batsmen know that they have to come and make sure that they put their heads down and they have to work hard against both spinners,” he signed off.