Brathwaite rues ‘bad game’
Skipper urges Windies to learn from defeat
ADELAIDE, Australia (CMC):
Captain Kraigg Brathwaite has rued West Indies’ lack of resolve in the Adelaide second Test, but said he believed the chastening result was a learning curve, which would serve the side well in important contests next year.
West Indies slumped to a 419-run defeat, half-hour before lunch on the penultimate day here on Sunday, the result marking their heaviest-ever loss in Test history by runs.
They were bowled out for 77 after resuming on 38 for four – their lowest-ever total Down Under and their second-lowest-ever against the Aussies.
“Obviously, [the] pink ball is always different – under lights is always tough, and at times a little tougher,” Brathwaite told a media conference afterwards.
“[We needed] a little better judgement at times. But it happens. Bad days happen and bad games [happen], and obviously this was a bad game for sure, for us.
“But it’s not the end of the world. We have a lot of Test cricket to play next year so we have to look ahead.”
West Indies lost the opening Test in Perth by 164 runs last week, their first Test defeat of the year following series triumphs over England and Bangladesh, when they went unbeaten.
And while they took the opening Test against Australia deep into the final day before succumbing, the Caribbean side showed little of that determination in the day-night affair in Adelaide.
Brathwaite, however, praised his side and said they retained his full support going forward.
“In a year, you want to win every game – you don’t want to lose – but I think losing is a part of the game,” he explained.
“Obviously, this loss was a bit disappointing in how we didn’t show the fight [required]. I was pleased with the first Test in Perth despite that it was a loss. We saw guys fighting, and to carry a strong Australia team into the last day was a decent effort.
“I still think it was a good year for us – a very good year. Obviously, losing one series against the number one team in the world is not a bad effort.
“As I said, it’s important to learn from this experience. We have South Africa next year in March, after Zimbabwe, and we know there are kind of similar conditions in South Africa, so it is important we show that experience.
“You go through certain things and it is important you learn from them. But I’m 100 per cent behind this team. I think it’s a good group, [but] you can’t always win.”
Brathwaite was one of only four players with previous Test experience in Australia and that dearth of knowledge showed in the series result.
There were three debutants in the series – Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Devon Thomas and Marquino Mindley – while Anderson Phillip was playing only his second Test.
Brathwaite said the way Australia went about their business in the series had served as a blueprint for his inexperienced unit, especially with West Indies scheduled to return Down Under in just over a year.
“[For] a lot of the guys, this was their first time to Australia so I think the experience would help, both as batsmen and as bowlers,” Brathwaite pointed out.
“And then seeing how Australia would’ve played, seeing how their batsmen would’ve started their innings – we can learn from that starting.
“And then how their bowlers bowled throughout – throughout a spell, throughout [a whole day] – because at times in Perth they bowled for a whole day, but then you see the areas they bowled.
“It’s stuff like that you’ve got to learn from, and it’s important when you come [back to Australia] that you don’t necessarily make the same mistakes.
“Australia will always be a strong team at home, but the key with experiences is to learn from them; so it’s important we show that experience when we come back.”
AUSTRALIA: 511 for seven declared (Travis Head 175, Marnus Labuschagne 163, Usman Khawaja 62, Alex Carey 41 not out; Devon Thomas 2-53, Alzarri Joseph 2-107) and 199 for six declared (Usman Khawaja 45, Travis Head 38, Steven Smith 35, Marnus Labuschagne 31; Alzarri Joseph 3-33).
WEST INDIES: 214 (Tagenarine Chanderpaul 47, Anderson Phillip 43, Roston Chase 34; Nathan Lyon 3-57, Michael Neser 2-34) and 77 (Scott Boland 3-16, Michael Neser 3-22, Mitchell Starc 3-29).