Sabina Park is being renovated for next year’s World Cup. The basic amenities to host the fourth Test between the West Indies and India, from Friday, are in place, but it doesn’t have practice facilities right now. So both the Indian and West Indian teams practised at different local Kingston clubs on Wednesday.
India were at the Melbourne Cricket Club Oval. The first thing they would have noticed as they drove into the club would have been the name of the road leading into it: the Courtney Walsh Drive. The next thing they would have noticed would have been that the pista-green pavilion was named ‘Holdings’ (sic) Pavilion’.
If, somehow, the players had missed these signs they would have, once they got going in the middle, surely seen the names, ‘Michael Holding’ and ‘Courtney Walsh’ printed out in bold, black capital letters on either sightscreen.
Yes, the Melbourne CC is the home of these two West Indian fast bowling champions. Even if the current Indian players lack that sense of history and occasion, it would have an enjoyable session for them. More than anything else, it would have been a happy pointer to the fact that they haven’t had to face a pace bowler of the class of Holding and Walsh in this series. And won’t have to face one when the final Test gets going on Friday.
Perhaps that was why coach Greg Chappell has a big grin on his face as he came over to talk to newsmen at the end of the session, which lasted just under three hours.
And that’s why the West Indians are thinking of adding another player to the 13 (unchanged from the third Test) already named by their selectors.
Coach Bennett King, who spoke to newsmen before the West Indians began their training session at Kensington CC, further south of Sabina Park and home of Wavell Hinds, more than hinted at that when he said there would be some ‘deliberations’ at the team meeting later.
He didn’t name any specific players but said they had ‘two or three names on their mind’. West Indian journalists speculated whether it would be Jermaine Lawson who would make the list.
It was interesting to note how similar the comments were of the two Australian coaches on the eve of the final Test of a series in which neither side has been able to dismiss the other twice in a game (keeping in mind, of course, that India were thwarted by the rained off fourth day in the second Test at St Lucia).
‘We want to get results,’ said Chappell, ‘but on these low, slow pitches, it’s been very difficult to get wickets.
‘We’ve bowled well, batted well and fielded well in parts. We have to do it all at the same time over five days (to get a result).’
King’s version was: ‘Both sides have been doing their best to get a result.
‘We have to make better use of the resources we have. We need better strategy in some areas.
‘We need to find a way to get wickets when the pitch gets flatter, the ball older…’
Both see the limitations of the bowlers in their sides, but neither has any magic pill, Just the management mantra of self-belief and hard work.
Chappell’s words summed up their philosophy, about thinking long-term. ‘Winning and losing is not important,’ he said. ‘The key is to keep improving. But winning keeps the wolves (critics) at bay.’
Source:India SportsMore on:Australia, Greg Chappell, India, India in West Indies 2006, West Indies
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Thursday, June 29th, 2006 and is filed under General.
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