West Indies coach David Moore has said drawing the first Test against England will count for little if they go down to defeat in the second game of a four-match series starting at Headingley here on Friday.
West Indies, ranked a lowly eighth in the world Test rankings, emerged with credit from the series opener at Lord’s completed Monday where, despite having had just a day’s cricket in England since their arrival and no time in the field, they fought particularly hard with the bat to secure a draw.
But Moore knows better than anyone it is seven years since West Indies last won an away Test against major opposition — something they must now try to achieve during their first series since the retirement of former captain and batting great Brian Lara.
“That’s something we’re working on — and we are looking forward to being challenged again by England and rising to it,” Moore, who succeeded fellow Australian Bennett King as West Indies coach after the hosts’ disappointing showing at the World Cup, told reporters at Headingley on Wednesday.
“It’s history. We have to put it behind us as we work in a new era with a new generation of cricketers.
“The key is our consistency and ability to back up a good performance in Test after Test.”
But he was heartened by West Indies’ resilience at Lord’s. I don’t think they (England) under-estimated us. They were in very good shape with 553 for five and us 187 for five.
“The bottom line is we came out and showed some good effort, good fight — and got to a position where we could be there on the last day. We did some good work there, which is good for the boys’ confidence.”
Moore added: “Every new game is different, and we have to start again and take the good things out of Lord’s and work on the things that we weren’t so happy with.
“Headingley is a different kettle of fish to Lord’s — we all know that — and we need to be very focused on our task here.”
This tour has seen West Indies, following reports of player ill discipline, impose a curfew on the squad. Opening batsman Chris Gayle has publicly questioned the policy, while promising to respect it, but Moore defended the move by saying: “Everything we’ve put in place is here so that we can win cricket games.
“It’s not for my pleasure, or anyone else’s. There is certainly not going to be a time when we have them under lock and key. The boys have been very good — their training commitment has been excellent.”
Former players have been openly critical of both the team and the West Indies Cricket Board in recent times. But the side’s efforts at Lord’s met with approval from Caribbean cricket experts.
“We listen to their opinions and respect them,” said Moore. “But obviously we know what we want to achieve and will focus on that.
“We’ll keep going on our path: all the pundits at home can have their say — and we hope we can meet in the middle.”
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2007 and is filed under Cricket.
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