West Indies need to find a way to thwart South Africa’s blessings if they have to square the series in the second Test that starts on Friday, but they are unlikely to get much respite at the Daren Sammy cricket ground in Saint Lucia not.
The home team was eliminated in the first Test for 97 and 162 because they could not handle the pace and movement of the opponents’ bowlers on a helpful wicket.
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However, home seed Kemar Roach says the steep learning curve out of the game could be beneficial in the long run.
“I think it’s good to have a place like this in the Caribbean so we can prepare ourselves for overseas tours,” Roach told reporters.
“The field has jumped a lot more than I saw a while ago. It reminds me of a wicket in Australia or probably South Africa, so it’s about our adaptation. It’s about tackling the challenge and try as positively as we can. “
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Coach Phil Simmons complained about his worst innings after the defeat with an innings and 63 runs in the first game. This has long been a problem and the reason why the West Indies have won only three of their 29 previous Tests against South Africa.
“This is one of the things we’ve been desperately trying to work on, because if we look back a lot when we win Test matches against top teams, we have a good opening scene,” Simmons said.
“It’s disappointing, because if you look at the last seven Test 100s scored by an opener, I think they were all scored by Kraigg (Brathwaite). We try very hard to work on that.”
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“We have to try to repeat what happened in the first Test,” said captain Dean Elgar. ‘It was clinical and merciless; our bowlers led the series excellently and many senior players raised their hands.
“The wicket looks similar, we had a little rain on the island, so it may be a little softer, but from a grass cover point of view it looks like the first test.”