Coach King wants WI to improve fielding
King was satisfied with his batters' performances on batsmen-friendly wickets in Pakistan.india Updated: Nov 25, 2006 18:16 IST
West Indies cricket coach Bennett King said on Saturday that his team has to raise its fielding standards in the final Test in a bid to level the three-Test series against Pakistan. Brian Lara's men came close to squaring the series in the second Test at Multan on Thursday, before prolific batsman Mohammad Yousuf made a splendid 191 to draw the match and helped Pakistan keep its 1-0 lead intact in the rubber.
Pakistan won the first Test by nine wickets inside four days, and the third and final Test begins on Monday in Pakistan's largest city, Karachi.
"We certainly had our opportunities and were in a strong position (at Multan)," King said.
Runako Morton dropped a crucial catch off Yousuf on 108 that could have had turned the Test in the West Indies' favor on the last day, after Pakistan conceded a heavy 234-run first innings lead. "I wouldn't say it was disappointing (performance), but we've only got ourselves to blame for the result and need to raise our fielding," King said.
"I think our bowling has been not too bad, but we haven't taken our opportunities in the fielding."
Yousuf had fully capitalized on the four chances in the first two test matches, compiling scores of 192, 56 and 191 in the three innings.
He has raised his runs tally in 10 Test matches to 1,562 in 2006, and is now 149 runs away to beat Sir Vivian Richards' world record of 1,710 runs in a year, made by the former West Indies captain in 11 Test matches 30 years ago.
"We dropped him (Yousuf) in the first Test, and let him off the hook in the second Test as well," Bennett said.
"He is certainly a good player and in form, and we will certainly take care. If we take our opportunities, we can be in a strong position again."
King was satisfied with his batters' performances on batsmen-friendly wickets in Pakistan, but wants his fielders to take their chances in order to stop a strong Pakistan batting line-up. "We are setting up batting very well, but on these type of wickets you don't get a lot of opportunity (in the fielding). "When they come your way you need to make sure you take them." Lara led the West Indies from front with a masterful double century at Multan in the West Indies strong reply of 591, after fast bowler Jerome Taylor's five-wicket haul had restricted Pakistan to 357 on a flat batting wicket.
West Indies has been away from home for the last three months, playing the final of triangular series in Malaysia against Australia in which India was the other participating team. Lara's men then qualified for the main round of the ICC Champions Trophy in India, and went on to play the final before once again it was beaten by world champion Australia.
However, King said playing nonstop cricket is not affecting his team's performance.
"We are very determined," King said.
"We have been on the road for three months and the boys played some of the best cricket on the fifth day (at Multan), when most sides have probably start to feel the effects of long tour. "But these boys have shown mental fortitude. I am very encouraged by the performance of the last game and we expect to go from strength to strength."