Missing batting coach not the reason for batting failures — BrathwaiteSunday, June 13, 2021
GROS ISLET, St Lucia (CMC) — Kraigg Brathwaite has pushed back on suggestions that the absence of batting coach Monty Desai played a role in West Indies' capitulation in both innings of the opening Test against South Africa.
West Indies were rolled over for 97 in their first innings after choosing to bat first on last Thursday's opening day at the Daren Sammy National Stadium here, and were then dismissed for 162 in their second innings on Saturday's third day, to suffer a heavy innings and 63-run defeat inside 2½ days.
Desai, who was appointed in 2019 when Phil Simmons returned for his second stint as head coach, was absent from the build-up to the opening Test here, with the West Indies captain explaining he was still in his native India trying to secure flights to the Caribbean.
“It's not fair [to say his absence impacted the team's performance]. The coaches here are doing a very good job,” Brathwaite argued.
“He's missed but I wouldn't say it (defeat) is because of that. I think the [other] coaches are doing a fantastic job.”
Desai was present when West Indies pulled off a stunning 2-0 victory away to Bangladesh earlier this year, the visitors once surpassing 400 in an inning and reaching 395 in another.
The former Canada head coach and Afghanistan batting coach was also with the side for the subsequent two-Test affair against Sri Lanka in the Caribbean when the hosts batted consistently to draw the series.
Head coach Phil Simmons said players were equipped by his coaching staff to function independently and said using Desai's absence to explain the sub-par batting performance would be an “excuse”.
“I don't know [if his absence affected them]. The players would have to answer that one,” Simmons told media.
“It's a case where we try to coach in a way where we don't always have to tell you what to do. If I'm not there, if Roddy (Estwick) is not there, if Monty's not there then you still know what to do.
“So that's not our coaching style to keep telling you what to do, so I think that (Desai's absence) would be an excuse if I heard that.”
The defeat came on the heels of a month-long high performance camp for the Test cohort and a highly touted inter-squad four-day match just days before the Test.
But Brathwaite said while the preparation had been sound, West Indies had not executed properly during the game.
“Obviously we had plans [but] they didn't go to plan. It's history; we can't bring it (the game) back,” Brathwaite pointed out.
“Obviously we saw how they bowled so that's good because we've got the experience against them, and it's just for the next game to be fully locked into that plan.
“We know it will be challenging throughout. Whether it's the first ball or throughout, I thought [South Africa] were very potent but I just think it's just to back [that] plan.
“You've got to be tough but just enjoy it. You will get times like these and it's easy for doubt to come in but my [advice] to the guys is to keep backing that plan, keep believing and for me that's the main thing.”
West Indies take on South Africa in the second Test at the same venue starting Friday.
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