Eldine Baptiste wants better fielding effort on day two

Eldine Baptiste wants better fielding effort on day two
Dinesh Chandimal was dropped early on by West Indies on day one of the first Test in Galle.
©REUTERS / Action Images
 

West Indies interim coach Eldine Baptiste is expecting a better fielding effort from his team on day two after a couple of chances went down on day one of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.

Darren Bravo put down Lahiru Thirimanne in the slips, but the batsman went on to add just 10 more runs to his total.

However, the catch of Dinesh Chandimal, which was shelled by Jerome Taylor at mid-on cost West Indies dearly as the 25-year-old went on to score an unbeaten 72 on day one.

Baptiste praised his bowlers for putting in the hard work but rued the missed chances that prevented West Indies from increasing the pressure on Sri Lanka.

"The bowlers put their hard work in and bowled brilliantly in the circumstances," Baptiste said.

“It's just that we dropped a few catches we would have liked to have caught.

“That would have made a big difference.

“The score could have been 220 for five, instead of 250 for two.

“We’ve got to go home, recover, come back tomorrow, get the ball in the same area and hopefully we take our catches.”

Despite the pitch being on the slow side, Baptiste is not complaining as he is aware of what to expect from the tracks in Sri Lanka.

“It was slower than we sort of expected after we played a practice match in Colombo.

“It had some grass and it had a little bit more pace.

“This one is a little bit slow.

“But hey, this is Sri Lanka, so there is no complaint.

“The bowlers did a wonderful job.

“It is just that we missed a few chances.

“That made the difference today.”

Urging his fielders to be on top of their game throughout the day, Baptiste feels there is room for improvement, especially in the fielding department.

"When you are fielding in the slips, as soon as you lack concentration, a nick normally comes.

“If 600 balls are bowled in a day, you've got to be on the ball 600 times.

“The one at slip and the one at mid-on could have done a lot better."

For West Indies, this is the first Test match under their new captain, Jason Holder, who was handed the reigns from Denesh Ramdin.

Despite the lack of wickets to show for their efforts, Holder was able to rotate his bowlers well, in tune with what the conditions demanded.

Extremely pleased with Holder’s efforts, Baptiste is hoping that West Indies will bounce back on day two and hold on to their catches.

“We have a new captain and I thought Jason did extremely well.

“Everything that is thrown at him, he has done very well.

“So I could not ask more.

“The spirit is still up and they are still doing well.

“They understand this is Test cricket and as the cliché goes, catches win matches.

“We will have to bounce back, no one really meant to drop a catch.

“We have to come back tomorrow, fresh again and get back in the same zone.

“It is going to take hard work.

“We must be prepared for another long day in the field.”

Sri Lanka were well served by the partnership between Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne, which was worth 149 runs for the third wicket at the end of the day.

The duo batted with caution and took very few risks as they played the good balls on merit and put the bad balls away.

Baptiste opined that the Sri Lankan batsmen deserve credit for the way they played to negotiate the conditions.

“When you are playing on a pitch like this, when you are a bowler, you have to prepare yourself to bowl 25 overs to get you three or four wickets.

“Bowling is hard work anyway you put it.

“The pitch is good, give credit to the Sri Lankan batters as well.

“They were very patient and played every ball on its merit.

“They played according to the conditions even though we bowled very well.”

At the end of play on day one, Karunaratne was unbeaten on 135 while Chandimal was batting on 72, as Sri Lanka posted 250 for the loss of two wickets.

© Cricket World 2015