WELLINGTON, New Zealand:
West Indies head coach Ottis Gibson said yesterday his side had made their own luck and earned a draw in the first Test, but will be looking to build on the confidence they gained from their fightback for the remainder of the series against New Zealand.
Gibson was speaking following a training session ahead of the second Test, which starts on Wednesday (4:30 p.m. today, Jamaica time) at the Basin Reserve in the New Zealand capital.
The training was disrupted by rain, restricting the team to fitness and fielding drills, as well as the use of the indoor nets.
"The great golfer Gary Player once said that the harder he worked, the luckier he got," said Gibson. "We worked hard on the fourth day of the first Test and we felt we earned our bit of good fortune on the final day.
"If we had capitulated on the fourth day like we did in the first innings and didn't take it into the final day, we would not have had that luck."
Rain and the New Zealanders' cautious approach combined to earn the Windies a draw in the first Test, which ended last Saturday at University Oval in Dunedin.
Shane Shillingford, who opened the bowling, sent a few shivers through the Black Caps' dressing room, collecting 4-26 from 15 overs, as the hosts, chasing 112 for victory, reached 79 for four in their second innings when rain prompted the tea break five minutes earlier than scheduled on the final day. The players never returned to the field.
"The lack of preparation showed in our first two innings - our bowling first and first-innings batting - where, to be fair to New Zealand, they played well over the first two or three days and then we fought back really well, which was very pleasing," Gibson continued. "It gives us more confidence going into the second Test and we are a more settled group."
Also looming over preparations was the outcome of the independent testing on the bowling actions of key off-spinner Shillingford and Samuels' part-time off-spin. The report was to be handed over to the ICC within a 14-day period, which comes to a conclusion on the third day of the Test.
"We have not heard anything from the ICC," said Gibson. "If nothing is said before the Test starts on Wednesday, I don't believe we will know until after the game. I don't think it would be fair to him (Shillingford) to issue the results in the middle of the game. We would prefer it to take place before the game starts on Wednesday or after."