Springer: Positive approach paying off
Gros Islet, St Lucia — Coach of the West Indies A Team Hendy Springer is pleased with what he has seen so far from his players against India A. Speaking on Thursday during the team’s three-hour training session at Beausejour Cricket Ground, Springer said it was “heartening to see” the way the regional side has performed in the two four-day Digicel “Test” matches so far.
West Indies lost the first Digicel “Test” by two wickets at Kensington Oval. The home boys rebounded to bowl out the visitors for 94 in the second innings to win the second match by 125 runs at Arnos Vale on Tuesday and square the series. The third Digicel “Test” starts on Saturday at Beausejour.
“I am seeing improvement. I am seeing commitment. I am seeing hard work,” Springer said. “We have a group of young men who want to do well, who are enjoying their cricket and who are giving their all. Everyone understands what is required. This positive approach, the belief in each other, is paying off.
“We went from a situation where a few players seemed a little intimidated going into that first match, to a place where we came to within two wickets of victory ... to the present situation, where we proved to everyone that we can perform and win at this level.
“We will have that same kind of belief going into the final match on Saturday. The surface here might a bit different to those in Barbados and St Vincent, so we will make the necessary adjustment and play what we know.”
Springer added: “This Indian team is very good in batting, with a top six who have done well at the first-class level, some of them have made triple-hundreds, so to bowl them out twice and for 94 in the second innings, is a huge boost for our team.”
The West Indies bowling has been outstanding so far. Fast bowler Delorn Johnson took a career-best six for 34 to bowl out India on Tuesday. He ended with eight wickets in the match to follow up his five wickets in the first match.
Captain Veerasammy Permaul was also brilliant with nine wickets in the second match - five for 58 and four for 22 - to win the Man-of-the-Match award. In the first match, medium-pacer Jonathan Carter, who is better known as a left-handed batsman and wicket-keeper, took a career-best five for 63 in the first innings. Fast bowler Jason Holder followed up with five for 55 off 27 overs in the second innings.
“We are a much younger team than the Indians, with far less experience at the first-class and international level, so every match is about learning - learning about ourselves and learning from the opposition as well,” Springer said.
“We saw some good things in Barbados, especially the way we bowled. In the end we were beaten by a superb and mature innings by their captain [Cheteshwar Pujara], and that can happen in the game of cricket. I was very happy with the fight-back and resilience we demonstrated when we went over to St Vincent. The scores weren’t high but our batsmen battled hard and stuck it out in both innings.”
The Coach added: “When we bowled we were very good. Johnson did a good job for us in Barbados and was a big support for Holder. He [Johnson] bowled with pace and also got the ball to swing on home turf in St Vincent. He showed great control from over the wicket, and when he went around the wicket, he also got results. That match was a significant stepping stone in his development.
“The captain has also been doing a great job with the ball and also with the bat when required. He assessed the pitch in St Vincent very well and bowled with great control. He was given the job of captain last year and you can see he is learning with every game and is getting the full support of everyone around him.”
WEST INDIES A: Veerasammy Permaul (Captain), Jason Holder (Vice Captain), Devendra Bishoo, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Kyle Corbin, Assad Fudadin, Delorn Johnson, Kevin McClean, Kieran Powell, Donovan Pagon, Devon Thomas (wicket-keeper)
INDIA A: Cheteshwar Pujara (captain), Wriddhiman Saha (vice captain/wicket-keeper), Abhinav Mukund, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Rahul Sharma, Ashok Dinda, Jalaj Saxena, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Robin Bisht, Akshay Darekar, Shami Ahmed. Parvinder Awana