Windies need right tempo - Law
LONDON, England (CMC):
Finding the right tempo will be key to West Indies clawing their way back into the five-match one-day international series against England, head coach Stuart Law said yesterday ahead of the pivotal fourth encounter at the Oval.
The Australian said the Windies were trapped between the Test and Twenty20 formats at the moment and were having difficulty determining the correct pace of the innings.
As a result, they trail 2-0 in the series, having lost the opener at Old Trafford last Tuesday by seven wickets and the third match in Bristol three days ago by 124 runs. The second fixture at Trent Bridge was rained out last Thursday after only 14 deliveries.
"We're not quite playing at the tempo that suits one-day cricket. We're caught between Test cricket and T20 cricket," Law told reporters here.
"Of course, we're very good at T20 cricket, and we're ever improving in the Test match arena. This is the arena we need to make sure we start grabbing hold of and start understanding, particularly with what we've got coming up early next year."
Pointing to last Sunday's contest as a case in point, Law said the Caribbean side had failed to pace the run chase properly, and had been bowled with way too many overs remaining.
Set a difficult 370 for victory following Moeen Ali's swift 102 off 57 balls, West Indies buckled for 245 at the start of the 40th over, despite Chris Gayle's top score of 94 off 78 deliveries.
TOOHARD, TOO EARLY?
"We're either going too hard, too early and not spacing it out over a longer period of time. It was pretty evident the other night we got bowled out with 11 overs to go," Law explained.
"Our tempo was pretty good in certain aspects, but we need to improve. We need to make sure we have two set batsmen going into those last 10-15 overs. If we've got that, we can be even more destructive."
West Indies have been underwhelming in the two completed matches. Only veteran Gayle - playing his first ODI series in two years - has managed a half-century, while the bowlers have all gone for runs.
It has meant that England have had things largely their way, and victory today would see them to their sixth ODI series win over the Windies in the last 10 years.