West Indies’ batsmen weren’t “fully there mentally” on their tour of Bangladesh, according to their captain Kraigg Brathwaite. This, he said, was particularly the case on the second evening in Dhaka, when, in reply to Bangladesh’s first-innings total of 508, they slipped to 29 for 5.
It was the first time in Test cricket that each of a side’s top five batsmen – in this case Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Sunil Ambris, Roston Chase and Shai Hope – were out bowled to spinners. West Indies followed that up by losing 15 wickets in 71.4 overs on the third day, and lost by an innings and 184 runs after being made to follow on.
“It was very disappointing,” Brathwaite said. “Our bowlers did a good job but the batting let us down. Some of the shots wasn’t the best. Most of the games we were 30-odd for three. It put the batting order under a lot of pressure. It wasn’t good for us at all. I can’t blame the wicket. Some of the shot selection wasn’t good at all, especially yesterday evening.
“Test cricket is a mental game. Five-hundred on the board with the ball spinning on the first day. We could have had some talks. Mentally we probably weren’t there, especially yesterday when we lost five wickets quickly. We have to do better as batsmen, even myself. We can’t consistently be 30 for three. We have to hold up our hand and do the job. Simple.”
Brathwaite himself had his worst Test series, scoring only 22 runs in four innings. It followed up a woeful series in India, where he only made 26 runs in four innings last month.
“I am very disappointed,” Brathwaite said. “I didn’t have a good series in India so I was looking to lead the batting. But it didn’t happen. I have to keep strong and try to lead the batting in the next series [against England in July].”
Brathwaite said the pitches in Bangladesh were drier than those West Indies had played on in India, but he didn’t blame the conditions for his team’s performances.
“I think the pitches here were a little drier but we didn’t carry out the shots at the right time. We just didn’t get anything together with the bat.
“We planned for spin here. We had a lot of spin sessions in the nets. We probably weren’t 100 per cent. Test cricket is never easy. You can’t blame fielding. It is tough, but we have to get better.”