Clarity, self-belief critical but brand still ‘popular’, says Coley
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Head Coach Andre Coley said Tuesday, West Indies remains a “popular brand” despite their first Test thrashing at the hands of superpowers India, and urged players to have clarity and self-belief as they gear up for Thursday’s start of the second Test at Queen’s Park Oval here.
The Caribbean side suffered an inning- and 141-run defeat inside three days in the opening Test in Dominica last week to extend their unenviable record of having not won a Test against the Indians in two decades.
And with the heavy defeat following on the heels of the team’s failure to qualify for the 50-overs World Cup earlier this month, Coley said how West Indies acquit themselves going forward is now critical.
“West Indies brand is still a popular brand; the world enjoys when we play at our best,” he told a media huddle here.
“Yes, we have had some disappointments in the recent weeks and months but it is an opportunity for us to be better, review what has gone before, and then just look ahead.”
He continued: “Belief in yourself as individuals and as a team is massive. Having a clear plan and sticking with it, that’s really going to be very important.
“And staying in the moment — as the game unfolds we’re going to be asked different questions, and how we respond to the different situations is important.
“But at each stage, if we have clarity about how we want to go about things and then we back that completely while being smart, there is no reason why we can’t give a good account of ourselves.”
On a turning track at Windsor Park, West Indies were bossed by veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who claimed a 12-wicket match haul, and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja who picked up a five-wicket match haul, the home side plummeting to paltry totals of 150 and 130.
The haul carried the 36-year-old Ashwin to 486 Test wickets and within sight of the coveted 500-mark, where he would join Anil Kumble (619) as the only Indian to reach the milestone.
However, Coley said West Indies would not be focused on personalities.
“Obviously they have achieved a lot in the game in all the formats and it is going to be very important for us to play what we actually see,” he cautioned.
“We’re not going out there to play names; milestones are important for everyone. We have players in our team as well who also have an opportunity to also create milestones for themselves so it’s really about what happens in the moment and making sure that we’re confident and we have self-belief in how we want to go about things.”
West Indies have made a single change to their 13-man squad for the second Test, boosting their spin resources with the inclusion of the 23-year-old uncapped off-spinner Kevin Sinclair.
He replaces left-arm fast bowling all-rounder Raymon Reifer who has, however, remained with the squad as injury cover.