West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan revealed he took the harsh criticism of his team to heart after the disastrous opening Test defeat by Australia in Brisbane and now hopes the Windies can keep up their strong showing in Adelaide on Wednesday.
Sarwan, himself a former Windies captain, averages almost 42 in Test cricket, was a late withdrawal from the first Test at the Gabba with a back injury and watched on as his side were annihilated by an innings and 65 runs.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the criticism coming the West Indies’ way was at an all-time high as they appeared to lack the desired effort, skill and character to be a competitive Test nation.
That sparked the group to have a heated meeting in order to get things turned around.
It worked in Adelaide as the Windies were the only side with a chance to win on the final day in the Test that was eventually drawn and the side head to the third Test in a positive frame.
The negative press motivated Sarwan and the rest of his team on to prove the critics wrong.
“From a personal point of view it really hurt to know that we came under that sort of scrutiny,” Sarwan said.
“But nevertheless we are professionals. I think everyone took it to heart and that kind of motivated us for the second Test.”
Giant spinner Sulieman Benn trained solidly on Saturday and looks likely to overcome a knee injury to play, while veteran batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul is battling a hamstring complaint.
Sarwan is confident that the West Indies can replicate the effort from Adelaide and perform well on what is set to be a lively WACA pitch, with a win tying the series at 1-1.
He has warned against complacency after the good effort in Adelaide though. “If we play really well on the first day, whether we are batting or bowling, I think we have a good chance.”