WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Darren Sammy said West Indies had left themselves no options, but to pick themselves up and win the third Test against New Zealand to restore faith in their side.
The Windies crumbled to an innings and 73-run defeat, after Trent Boult undermined their batting twice in a single day with destructive left-arm swing bowling, handing New Zealand their first Test victory for the year in the second Test on Friday here.
The defeat meant that the Windies now trail 0-1 in the three-match series, following a draw in the first Test which ended last Saturday at University Oval in Dunedin.
The final Test opens this coming Thursday at Seddon Park in the riverside city of Hamilton on the north island of this two-island state.
“We value the fans back home,” said Sammy. “They’re up late or early in the morning, watching us. We’ve got to give them something to shout about.
“Christmas is soon around the corner. It’s a time to be jolly, so we’ve got to head to Hamilton and give them a little Christmas gift.
He added: “We have found ourselves in these kinds of situations a few times and I believe we have the mettle in the dressing room to come back and remain hungry.
“One Test remains and we have a chance to level the series, but it will take a big effort to do it.”
Resuming from their overnight total of 158 for four, replying to the New Zealanders’ first innings total of 441, the visitors were bowled out for 193 about an hour after the rescheduled start on the third day at the Basin Reserve – and were forced to follow on for the second straight Test.
After a solid start from openers Kirk Edwards and Kieran Powell, West Indies were bowled out for 175 in their second innings about an hour before the scheduled close.
In both instances, left-arm fast-medium bowler Trent Boult was the chief destroyer, finishing with impressive match figures of 10-80.
“We all need to get better quickly to be able to beat this New Zealand team on their home soil,” said Sammy.
“We have got to learn from the opposition. We are in their backyard, and what there are doing is quite simple and basic, building pressure and putting the ball in the right areas. We are all skillful cricketers and it shouldn’t be so difficult to do.
“Every single player will have to come into consideration for the final Test, including Sunil Narine. We have had two green-tops and we have not been able to get the wickets, so probably the Narine factor will have to come into play whether there is another green-top or not.”
The result also meant that the Caribbean side has lost three of its last four Tests inside three days, following similar setbacks in the preceding two-Test, farewell series for retired Indian batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar in India.
West Indies have now also lost their last three Tests at this venue – but the Black Caps have broken the drought they have endured in their capital city – after failing to win on the previous seven occasions dating back to third Test of their 2008-9 home series against India.
Sammy said key to turning things around in the final Test would be his side bowling more consistently.
“Credit must go to the New Zealand bowlers, especially Trent Boult,” he said. “The way they exploited the conditions, it is something as a bowling group we’ve not been able to do here, and I think we have had the better part of the pitch in both Tests.
“If I go to our analyst and look at our pitch maps, we will probably be scattered all over the place. If I look at the New Zealand bowlers, they’ll be hitting that fuller, six-metre length more often than us, which is where you tend to create most chances. Neither did we did not back the bowlers up in the field with some costly dropped catches.”
Sammy said: “Our seamers have got to get the bulk of the wickets. We have a good spinner in Shane Shillingford, but we can’t ask him to bowl out sides on these kind of pitches where there is not much assistance, neither spin nor bounce.
“If you look at New Zealand, their seamers in these conditions have been getting the wickets. We can learn a lot from them. The last Test makes it very interesting and I think we have what it takes to level the series.”