West Indies coach Floyd Reifer said his team’s middle-order batsmen need to show more grit and fighting spirit in order to win matches after they suffered a 59-run loss against India in the second ODI on Sunday.
Lack of partnerships once again dented West Indies’ hopes as they handed a 0-1 lead to India in the three-match ODI series.
India skipper Virat Kohli (120) and Shreyas Iyer (71) put up a 125-run stand to power India to a competitive 279/7 in 50 overs.
In reply, West Indies were on course at 148/4 before they lost their last six wickets for 62 runs to be bundled out for 210 in 42 overs.
“We got to continue to learn from this experience. Guys in the middle order, we got to show more fight, a bit more grit, more determination to build those longer partnership,” Reifer said at the post match conference.
Opener Evin Lewis (65) and Nicholas Pooran (42) had kept West Indies in the hunt but the loss of wickets at regular interval turned the match in India’s favour.
“Again we were in front today and then we found a way to give away our wickets, so it’s just a matter of us learning from our mistakes and trying to dig deeper,” he said.
The 47-year-old, however, lauded the efforts of his bowlers who restricted India to 279/7.
“I thought the bowlers bowled very well to restrict India to 279, I thought it was a very good effort from them. Great bowling line and length, variation of pace. Carlos Brathwaite really bowled well, Chase had a good spell, all the other bowlers, Cottrell again, a champion.”
Asked about the final ODI, which is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, Reifer said the team, which is in a rebuilding process, can still pull off a win.
“It’s not an uphill task, like I said in the past interviews, we are rebuilding, we are building our side again. And when you are building a side, you get speed bumps along the way. It’s how you bounce back from them. Our meeting will be how we assess today and things we need to do better going to the next game,” he added.
Reifer also congratulated Chris Gayle for becoming the highest run-scorer for West Indies surpassing batting legend Brain Lara during his 300th ODI.
“Playing 300 games as a West Indian, obviously he is the first to have done it. It is a great achievement and I feel honoured to be here working with him. I have played with and against him and now I am coaching so it was great to see his 300th game,” he said.