West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite rues lack of specialist openers
Carlos Brathwaite (AFP Image)

Following another comprehensive loss, captain Carlos Brathwaite mentioned that West Indies missed having regular openers, which led to ordinary batting performances in both T20Is against India. In the first match at Kolkata, West Indies, after being put into bat, were limited to just 109 for 8 in 20 overs, with Shai Hope and Denesh Ramdin opening the innings. The move failed and both batsmen departed early.

Not much changed in the second game either, as chasing 196, West Indies were restricted to 124 for 9 – with Hope being partnered by Shimron Hetmyer this time. In both games, West Indies missed having a good start which is understandable. Regular openers Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis decided to opt out of the series to put West Indies in the predicament, something that Brathwaite admitted to have affected their batting

“We didn’t come to the tour with an out-and-out opener, so we are still trying to find our best opening combination,” Brathwaite said. “There were a few theories in the first game and also this game, on how we wanted our batting order, for different reasons. Ultimately neither worked, because we failed to get a good start. But we’re working with the players we have on tour, and it’s difficult to choose the best batting pair, but we’re trying. Up until a theory works out, it will look bad and give the pundits something to say.”

West Indies’ 71-run loss against India was all the more surprising considering the kind of performance they had come up with the ball in Kolkata. They deal India a serious scare when they had them reduced to 45 for 4. There was hardly anything slack on offer and the fielding was top-notch as well. However, nothing seemed to go right in Lucknow. Brathwaite, whose spell read 4 for 2 in 3 three overs in the first T20, gave away 56 from his four in Lucknow. Among fast bowlers, Oshane Thomas was slightly tight, giving away 27 runs. Within spinners, Fabian Allen didn’t seem easy to get away with but still conceded 33.

“Last game we bowled and fielded very well, but today I don’t think we fielded as well as we wanted to. I myself was disappointed with my bowling effort,” he said. “We let the team down with the ball and chasing 195 was always going to be an uphill task, but there were a few positives.

“The way Fabian Allen bowled in the middle, and he kept the openers under wraps and eventually got Shikhar out. It is hard to look at the negatives sometimes, just need to take the small positives and go away with them.”

“India batted well, but even at the halfway stage of their innings, we thought we were a wicket or two away to restrict them to 170-180. That being said, we didn’t bat as we wanted to. Our batting continues to let us down. But again, small positives, Kuldeep went for a bit today. We didn’t give a dismal performance, there were one or two positives. So while we often highlight the negatives, it’s sometimes good to take away the positives. We’ve got a young group, so important for them to understand where they went wrong but also appreciate the things they did right. Hopefully we can come away with them and get a win in the final game.”