Brathwaite urges batsmen to find balance ahead of Hyderabad Test

Stand-in captain Kraigg Brathwaite says West Indies’ batsmen need to find the right balance between attack and defence, as the Caribbean side seek to bounce back from their humbling innings and 272-run defeat in the opening Test here last weekend.

India needed less than three days to beat West Indies and take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series as the Windies’ batting folded meekly in each innings for 181 and 196.

“Going forward what we need to do is along with the attacking shots, trust in defence. I think that’s the key,” said Brathwaite, who replaced regular skipper Jason Holder who sat out the match with an ankle injury.

“Obviously when the field goes back, it’s a matter of still staying positive in defence also and putting away the bad balls, stroking the ball along the ground for singles. I just don’t think we trusted our defence as much as we should have.”

India amassed a massive 649 for nine declared with teenaged debutant Prithvi Shaw (134), captain Virat Kohli (139) and Ravi Jadeja (100 not out) managing hundreds.

The Windies batting then showed little enterprise and only Roston Chase with 53 in the first innings and opener Kieran Powell with 83 in the second, showed any will to resist the Indian attack.

Brathwaite, who failed in both innings, said the Windies batsmen would do well to learn from how India approached their innings.

“I think what they can look at is how India batted. We saw the guys getting in and backing themselves,” Brathwaite pointed out.

“Obviously, Shaw was quite attacking, he was 100 per cent into what he was doing. Kohli obviously came in, took his time and flourished.
“I think if we can learn from them, that will put us in good stead going forward. [There were] obviously a few nerves, it’s Test cricket so it is never easy but we need to take a page out of their book and take that into our batting.

“[We have to] trust in defence and obviously when you attack, go 100 per cent as well.”

West Indies face India in the second Test in Hyderabad starting Friday and will hope to give a better account of themselves. Importantly, they will have experienced new ball bowler Kemar Roach back after he missed the first Test due to the death of his grandmother.

However, doubt remains over Holder’s fitness but Brathwaite said a decision would be made in coming days about the all-rounder’s availability.

“Kemar will be back but not 100 per cent sure [about Jason]. In a couple of days we will come to know,” he said. “It’s just for us to bounce back. Obviously it’s not the start we wanted but we can bounce back.”

West Indies have not won a Test on Indian soil in 24 years and a series in India in nearly four decades.

CMC

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