'Mismatch' but Law vows to fire Windies revival

Thursday, August 24, 2017

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LEEDS, England (AFP) — West Indies c oach Stuart Law insisted he was determined to oversee a change in the team's fortunes after a crushing first Test loss to England, but admitted the series was “a mismatch”.

The tourists head into tomorrow's second Test at Headingley 0-1 down in a three-match series after suffering a mammoth innings and 209-run defeat as the first day/night Test in Britain ended inside three days at Edgbaston on Saturday.

Law's men lost 19 wickets on the third day, with England new-ball duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad doing most of the damage as the West Indies were skittled out for 168 and 137 in reply to the hosts' 514 for eight declared.

West Indies fast-bowling great Curtly Ambrose labelled the tourists' performance “totally embarrassing” but, with the series now reverting to standard Test hours, Law was confident of an improved showing by his fledgling side.

“It is a mismatch in talent and a mismatch in experience,” Law told reporters at Headingley on Wednesday.

“Having said that, we are going to make sure we understand we need to fight hard.

“We understand there's a lot of people out there who are disappointed in our performance.

“But I can tell you right now there's no one more disappointed than the dressing room themselves.

“We had a session up in Birmingham as well which highlighted the fact we are 'fair dinkum' about turning this around,” the former Australia batsman added.

“We had to bat against two pretty decent bowlers (Anderson and Broad) in favourable conditions under lights and when it was overcast. Taking that in, we understand we've got to be better and we're aiming to do that.”

Quite how much progress the West Indies can make in just a few days remains to be seen, but Law said: “The boys know it's an attitude change. They need to want to stand up and fight and they've all spoken about that.”

The 48-year-old Law, who took charge in February, indicated West Indies would retain the same XI.

“I think these guys need a chance to prove that they are good enough to play for the West Indies. They've got the opportunity to turn it around.”

Excluding matches against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, the West Indies have won just three out of 87 away Tests during the past 20 years.

They arrived in England for this tour without several senior players, although the likes of Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels will be available for the subsequent one-Day series in a sign that a bitter dispute with Caribbean cricket chiefs may be coming to an end.

“They are young men; they haven't played cricket in this part of the world,” said Law.

“It's very difficult to play cricket (in England), particularly as a batsman,” added Law, who enjoyed successful spells as a player with English counties Essex and Lancashire.

“It's a difficult game when you are playing against two guys (Anderson and Broad) who've got nearly 1,000 wickets in Test cricket and we've got guys playing their first games here.”

But Law insisted he supported his players “100 per cent”.

“I believe these guys have got the talent,” he said.

“It's not going to happen overnight. We need them to understand that it's difficult and we need people out there to understand it's difficult.”

He added: “International cricket's pretty tough and in this part of the world, when you are playing against an experienced England side, it's even tougher.

“Australia came here a couple of years ago, got bowled out for 60 (when England clinched the Ashes at Trent Bridge in 2015), so we're not going too bad.”

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