Kraigg Brathwaite of the West Indies bats during day three of the Test match between New Zealand and the West Indies at Basin Reserve on December 3, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, New Zealand – West Indies captain Jason Holder has urged his team not to panic following their heavy innings defeat inside four days to New Zealand in the first Test on Monday.
The Windies started the fourth day on 214 for two but lost eight wickets in a half-a-day, to be bowled out for 319, losing by an innings and 67 runs.
“What I have to say in the dressing room is ‘don’t panic’. We have to stay focused on the job and believe that we can win when we go to Hamilton,” Holder said in reference to the second Test next weekend.
“As you saw earlier this year in the Caribbean against Pakistan, we can rebound and win … and as you saw in the series in England a few months ago we can fight back and win. So there is still a lot to play for and we believe we can win.”
Holder was speaking to the media following the result, which now means the Caribbean side must win the second match in Hamilton, starting on Saturday, to have a share of the two-match series.
The defeat was the fifth in nine Tests this year for the Windies, who have won three and drawn one.
Approaching the final day at the Basin Reserve, Holder said the visitors were confident of erasing the mammoth first innings deficit of 386, which would have made the home side bat a second time.
However, they lost the resolute Kraigg Brathwaite for 91 after he resumed on 79, and the wicket of stylish right-hander Shai Hope for 37 was also a major setback in the first session, significantly stalling their progress.
“Unfortunately we lost Kraigg at that time and I guess we never really gathered momentum afterwards,” Holder explained.
“We just wanted to be positive. There’s no point being out there just to run down the game. We needed to be positive and score, knock off the deficit and stay in the game.”
The captain admitted the first innings all out 134 put them on the back foot but debunked a suggestion that his side made a meek surrender.
“I didn’t think we helped ourselves the way we batted in the first innings after they won the toss and put us in. We got better as the game went on and I felt we were going well in the second innings,” Holder added.
“We didn’t help ourselves on day one. To get bowled out on the first day of any Test match doesn’t really put you into a good position going into the remaining days, but we never surrendered. You can’t say that.
“The only way to get back in the game was to get new ball wickets and to make early inroads into the New Zealand top order, and we struggled to do that. I thought our bowlers tried, really gave a good effort.”
West Indies travel to Hamilton on Tuesday to prepare for the second Test at Seddon Park. (CMC)