Windies places up for grabs after WI biggest test defeat

LEEDS, England, May 30, 2007 – West Indies coach David Moore said there “will certainly be questions asked on both the batting and bowling side” after what the Australian described as his team’s “ugly” innings and 283 run second Test defeat against England here at Headingley.

The defeat, West Indies’ biggest Test innings defeat of all-time, saw England take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series ahead of the third Test which starts at Old Trafford on June 7.

In between, West Indies have just a solitary tour match against an MCC side in Durham which, while captained by Sanath Jayasuriya, is largely made up of student players.

England’s first innings total of 570 for seven declared at Headingley meant the hosts had scored seven individual centuries in two Tests with star batsman Kevin Pietersen, who scored 109 in the drawn opener at Lord’s and a Test-best 226 at Headingley, twice into three figures.

So far the West Indies pace trio of Daren Powell, Jerome Taylor and Corey Collymore have carried little threat.

The tourists do have the likes of Fidel Edwards, Ravi Rampaul and Darren Sammy waiting in the wings of their 15-man squad and after Monday’s mauling Moore said: “We’ve been looking since the first Test to see who are going to be the best bowlers to take us through.

“Over the last few games, the three we took into this game have been doing a job for us. In the Test series in Pakistan they did a reasonable job for us – and throughout the World Cup they did as well.

“But as always, at the end of every game you have to work out where your players are at and who’s going to give us the best chance of winning a game.

“There will certainly be questions asked on both the batting and bowling side,” he added.

West Indies were routed for 146 and 141 at Headingley. But they were down to 10 batsmen after captain Ramnaresh Sarwan sustained a potentially tour-ending shoulder injury while fielding on Friday.

And they came into the match without senior batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who withdrew because of a knee problem.

Nevertheless, Moore was left distinctly unimpressed at his side’s second innings collapse.

“I think it was ugly in the end – it looked like a pretty meek surrender.

Turning to the subject of Sarwan, he said: “We’ll assess Ronnie’s fitness in the next day or so and will then make a decision about what he’s going to be doing over the next few weeks.

“As soon as we make a decision, we won’t be playing one short. If he’s ruled out for a long period of time, a replacement will be called asap.”

But he was more confident regarding Chanderpaul. “We hope ‘Shivvy’ will be right for the next Test – and we think he will.”

However, he appeared to rule out a return for former captain Brian Lara, Test cricket’s all-time leading run scorer, who retired from internationals after hosts West Indies failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the World Cup.

“Brian has apparently retired. He hasn’t rung me – I believe he’s not actually in England.”

Moore said there was no magic solution to West Indies’ woes as the tour squad was the best available.

“They’re the 15 best guys we could have picked – and they need to work hard to develop their cricket and confidence to get good results on the board.”

And he insisted West Indies, ranked a lowly eighth in the world rankings and without an away Test win against major opposition since 2000, could yet fight back.

“We’re still going to have a crack. What do you want us to do – lie down? We’re not going to do that.”  (AFP)