BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Captain Denesh Ramdin believes the drawn series against World number three England has injected a new level of confidence and belief into West Indies.
The Caribbean side bounced back from a heavy nine-wicket defeat in the second Test in Grenada last week to stun England by five wickets inside three days in the third and final Test here Sunday.
Following the drawn first Test in Antigua, Sunday’s result left the series in a 1-1 stalemate.
“We have more belief in ourselves now that we can bat out a last day, that we can chase down scores on a last day and beat teams that are ranked higher, and if we show that commitment and belief, we can go out there and execute our plans,” Ramdin told reporters.
“We will take it one game at a time, put in our work in the nets and off the field, analyse the opposition and try and execute our plans as best as we can. Australia are coming up and they are a very tough team but we will try to play some good cricket and see what happens.”
West Indies were written off before the start of the three-Test series, with in-coming England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves describing them as a “mediocre” side.
However, the Windies put aside their poor results on the previous tour of South Africa where they lost the three-Test series, 2-0, to string together several strong performances against the English.
Ramdin said after the South Africa tour, the squad had prepared well and were hungry to do well.
“We played some good cricket in South Africa but didn’t see the results there but we came back home to our conditions and worked on our game,” the glove-man pointed out.
“We had a new head coach (Phil Simmons) and we worked really hard for the last four weeks. I’ve never seen a team work and push themselves so hard and want success.
“All of the young guys who have been coming through have been pushing themselves to do well. It’s going to be hard in the next series but we’re up for it.”
Victory in the third Test seemed farfetched when West Indies were bowled out cheaply on the second day for 189, in reply to England’s first innings of 257 – a deficit of 68.
In a sensational turn of events, however, England were reduced to 39 for five by the close and dismissed for a paltry 123 in their second innings.
Set 192 for victory, West Indies stumbled to 80 for four before coasting to victory on the backs of a 108-run, fifth-wicket stand between Darren Bravo (82) and Jermaine Blackwood (47 not out)
“We believed once our new-ball bowlers picked up wickets (on the second evening) it was going to be an open game and we did that. Mr Ambrose came down on the boundary and said to us, ‘we have it in us, just believe and we can go out there and do it’,” Ramdin related.
“Jerome Taylor since he’s come back into the team has done a tremendous job for us and he did it again yesterday (Saturday) afternoon. We were looking for three to four wickets so I think the fifth wicket was a bonus for us.”