Kraigg Brathwaite, Windies skipper, pinned the blame of the visitors’ whitewash in the Bangladesh series to the poor performance of the batters, as they were thrashed by a massive margin of an innings and 184 runs to go 0-2 down in the two-match series.
After conceding 508 runs to Bangladesh, they were snuffed out for 111 and 213 in the two innings of the second Test in Dhaka, with all the 20 wickets falling to spinners. Mehidy Hasan, the off spinner, was the most impressive of Bangladesh’s four-pronged spin attack, bagging 12 wickets – including two fifers in the Test.
“It was very disappointing. Our bowlers did a good job but the batting let us down,” said Brathwaite reflecting on the loss. “Some of the shots weren’t the best. Most of the games we were 30-odd for three. It put the batting order under a lot of pressure. It wasn’t good for us at all.
“The pitches here were a little drier. We didn’t carry out the shots at the right time. We just didn’t get anything together with the bat.”
While it has been more reflective of how Windies haven’t had a good year with the bat, with only Shane Dowrich being their only batsman who has scored over 400 runs in 9 Tests this year, it only plummeted further on their Asian tour. Of their top seven run-getters this year, four average less than 25. Shimron Hetmyer runs with the best score per innings, and 37.60 there isn’t a pretty reflection.
In the criticism of his team’s batters, he didn’t take any blame off himself either, having lasted only 10 balls in his two dismissals and totalling only 1 run in the Test. In the four innings in the series, he managed only 22 runs.
It has been a horror run in the subcontinent this season for Brathwaite, having managed only 26 in four innings earlier in India in October. In the four Asian Tests, he notched up a highest score of only 14.
“I didn’t have a good series in India so I was looking to lead the batting. But it didn’t happen. I have to keep strong and try to lead the batting in the next series.
“Test cricket is a mental game. Five-hundred on the board with the ball spinning on the first day. We could have had some talks. I played outside the line of a straight ball. Mentally we probably weren’t there, especially yesterday when we lost five wickets quickly. We have to do better as batsmen, even myself. We can’t consistently be 30 for three. We have to hold up our hand and do the job. Simple.”
He didn’t want to push the blame on the pitches which favoured spin heavily and said the team had enough preparation to deal with the turners in Bangladesh but weren’t ‘mentally there.’ He also credited Bangladesh for showing fine application in conditions that suit their game better.
“I can’t blame the wicket. Some of the shot selection wasn’t good at all, especially yesterday evening,” he added. “Condition is a big factor. We played well at home. They struggled against pace, we struggled against spin.
“They played to their strength, which is spin. Other teams will know that when they come here. Every time they have played their style in their conditions, and they have done well.
“We plan for spin here. We had a lot of spin sessions in the nets. Mentally we probably weren’t there. We probably weren’t 100 per cent. Test cricket is never easy,” he concluded.