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West Indies happiest at Kensington but …

Skipper warns charges to get the discipline right

Published:Wednesday | March 16, 2022 | 12:11 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
Kraigg Brathwaite.
Kraigg Brathwaite.

FOLLOWING THE opening Test draw in Antigua, the West Indies and England will go at it again in match two starting today at 9:00 a.m. Jamaica time, this time at the iconic Kensington Oval in Barbados.

The Oval is becoming something of a fortress for the West Indies against England, as the last two times the teams played in Test matches in 2019 and 2015, the regional side dominated both encounters to come away with well-deserved victories.

In the most recent encounter in 2019, fast bowler Kemar Roach starred with the ball, bagging five wickets in England’s first innings which saw the visitors blown away for a mere 77 runs.

Roach will be relishing another go at England, especially since he needs just one wicket to pass the legendary Sir Garry Sobers tally of 235 Test wickets.

Many will also remember the remarkable unbeaten double hundred from Jason Holder which helped to solidify the right-hander’s status as the top all-rounder in world cricket.

Once again, captain Kraigg Brathwaite will be calling on his local lads to come up big in front of what is expected to be a jam-packed Kensington Oval. However, the skipper knows that the 2019 victory is long gone, and the team has to come good in the present if they are to come out on top.

KEY TO A BETTER FUTURE

“That is history and we really have to look to the future. Discipline, especially from a bowling point of view, will be key. We can draw some things from the 2019 win, but we have to buckle down and start fresh,” said Brathwaite.

Jamaican batsman Nkrumah Bonner was the standout player in the first Test following a brilliant hundred. However, Brathwaite knows that a collective effort with both bat and ball will be required.

“We just have to deal with the process which I think is important. Nkrumah Bonner led the way with the batting the last time, and we got three 50s in the first innings, so we will try to repeat that and remain consistent.”

The West Indies named an unchanged squad for the match, which means spinner Veerasammy Permaul could be given another run, despite not taking a single wicket in the opening Test.

One thing that the West Indies will be paying closer attention to, is the over rate, with the team docked two World Test Championship points and fined 40 per cent of their match fees for slow over rate in the opening Test.

For Brathwaite, the bowling will play a more significant role in this Test match.

“We need to be more disciplined with our bowling, especially in the middle periods and try to keep them under three runs per over. If we can do that, then we will create more pressure that will help us to get more wickets.”

In the meantime, England are expected to make one change to their line-up from the Antigua Test, with Lancashire fast bowler Saqib Mahmood set to make his debut in place of the injured Mark Wood.