ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) – Batting coach Toby Radford believes the emphatic second Test victory over Pakistan has provided a huge confidence-booster for West Indies, but says the Caribbean side must be prepared to start from scratch if they are to win the decisive third Test starting here tomorrow.
The Windies lost the opening Test in Sabina Park last month by seven wickets but bounced back superbly last week to trounce the visitors by 106 runs on the final day at Kensington Oval in Barbados.
Radford stressed that while the performance had been outstanding, it was important the Windies put it behind them and focus on the new challenge at Windsor Park.
“Confidence has got to be very high. We’ve beaten them last week (and) it’s only a couple of months ago that we beat Pakistan in a Test match in Sharjah so the last few Tests we’ve played we’ve beaten them a couple of times,” he told reporters here before rain cut short a training session.
“We’re going into a decider against them with everyone buoyant. The bowlers bowled exceptionally well – Shannon Gabriel again was brilliant – so spirits are very high and confidence is high but we also know it’s a new game and we’ve got to do all the things and all the hard work we did last week all over again.
“We can’t rest on that, that game’s gone. It’s about what we do over the next few days.”
West Indies have struggled in Tests in recent years and last Monday’s victory was only their third Test win in 17 outings over the last two years. The win also enhanced the hosts’ chances of preserving their record of having never lost a Test series to Pakistan on home soil.
Radford said the Windies were now confident in their ability to compete effectively against the Pakistanis, and would enter the final Test not lacking in self-belief that they could defeat the tourists.
“I think a lot of it is psychological. I think for individuals and collectively it’s the belief that you can beat what’s been a very good side and Pakistan have played well over the last year or so against other teams around the world,” the Englishman explained.
“It’s bringing the confidence in – players now realise they can score centuries, they can bat for four or five hours against this attack and we also know we can bowl them out.
“We’ve done that a couple of times now in the last few games so I think a big thing for us is the confidence and the belief and we’ve got to continue with that same positive mindset.”
Pointing to the West Indies batting in the Oval Test, Radford said it was a sign that the Caribbean unit was improving, especially after the disappointing outing in the opening Test.
In Barbados, Roston Chase hit his second Test century while Shai Hope and captain Jason Holder struck high quality half-centuries.
“We are very pleased with the batting. When you look at the win last week in Barbados there were lots of contributors. Obviously Roston Chase in the first innings (with a) wonderful century (and) Jason Holder played very well,” he noted.
“And then the second innings, Shai Hope with a fantastic knock to help us get the lead that we got to set up the win; so I felt there were a lot of contributors with the batting.
“One or two would probably like a little bit more form and that’s the whole focus of today’s net session and tomorrow’s – to give them confidence and tweak one or two things and hopefully they can get themselves some scores as well.”