Barath values West Indies “warm-up” schedule

HOVE, England – Adrian Barath said he and his West Indies teammates were prepared to grit their teeth and deal with whatever conditions they confront on the tour of England.


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The West Indies opener said the players were adjusting to the wet, chilly conditions that have greeted them on the opening days of the trip, frustrating the visitors for the second straight day of their tour match against Sussex at the PROBIZ County Ground here.

Barath made just 16, but still valued the short time he spent at the crease, as West Indies, sent in to bat, reached 46 for two in their first innings before bad light stopped play early after only 18 overs on the scheduled second day of the three-day match.

"We are happy to be in England at the moment," he said. "We have been looking forward to this tour. It has been part of our schedule for a long time.

"We are not totally surprised by the conditions and it is something that we expected. We are getting on with things very well, we have been training hard over the last few days, and we are bonding well, so it was good to finally get some cricket.

He added: "Unfortunately, we did not get any play on Saturday, so hopefully, we can get better weather on Monday and our batsmen can get to spend some time in the middle."

"The time I spent in the middle I felt good. I felt I accomplished some of the things I wanted and the ball was hitting the middle of the bat. . .I do not mind the extreme conditions. It’s nice to experience these things at times."

Barath hailed the decision to allow West Indies to arrive about two weeks prior to the first Test and felt it afforded the team adequate time to acclimatise and prepare well for the three-Test series against England.

West Indies also face the England Lions in a four-day, first-class match, starting this coming Thursday at Wantage Road in Northampton, in their final warm-up game.

"It was a good move for us to come early and we are looking to grasp the opportunity [to prepare well] and, while it has rained, we have been doing a lot of work in the indoor nets and making every opportunity count before the Test," said Barath.

"I have been talking to the batting coach Toby Radford. He’s from England and he’s got vast experience playing in the county championship and the leagues here, so things like playing the ball a bit later and leaving a lot more balls are some of the [little things] that I am trying to grasp."

Barath said he wanted to significantly improve on his performance from the previous year and accepted that he had a vital role to play in the line-up.

"I did not have the sort of performances that I wanted over the last year," he said. "I have to put it behind me and it is all about working from where I am, learning from the past and building on it.

"Learning from my teammates, guys like Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who have played in these conditions before is also vital, so that the knowledge will help me in the future."

He said: "I think it is important for me to get the team off to a good start in this series. It’s always important for the openers to set the platform and England is somewhere you always have to be looking out for the good delivery.

"You have to be concentrating every ball. You cannot relax, thinking the shine is off, you can get carried away and play shots. It’s about learning fast, even though it’s a lot of responsibility."