Our batting let us down - Jason Holder
West Indies captain Jason Holder came critical at the temperment shown by his team's batsmen after losing the second Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo by 72 runs.
Resuming play on day five at 20 for one after losing four sessions to rain, needing 224 more to win, West Indies were on track after a 60-run stand between Shai Hope and Darren Bravo.
But once the stand was broken, West Indies capitulated to spin losing nine wickets for 91 runs as Milinda Siriwardana and Rangana Herath shared seven wickets between them.
Holder attributed the failure to the inability to build partnerships which allowed the Sri Lankan bowlers to operate at full freedom.
"At that stage (80 for one) we were pretty much in control, but we lost wickets.
“Marlon (Samuels) came in under a bit of pressure and couldn't take us out of the situation.
“We didn't rebuild when we had to rebuild. Sri Lanka got on top of us with some very good bowling.
“They worked with their strengths and put some pressure on us, and we gave in to that pressure at that stage."
This was not the first time, West Indies succumbed to spin bowling from Sri Lanka.
In the first game in Galle, West Indies managed only 251 and 227 handing a 10-wicket haul to Herath in the game, thereby losing the game by an innings and six runs.
But Holder denied the notion that their weakness against spin was exposed in the series, but instead condemned the lack of patience shown by his batsmen.
"I wouldn't say we have a difficulty playing spin," Holder said.
"The nature of our wickets back home is not too far apart from here in Sri Lanka.
“I just think patience was lacking and we didn’t trust our defence.”
If it was the top order of Dimuth Karunaratne and Dinesh Chandimal who piled on the runs in the first Test, it was the middle order of Milinda Siriwardana and Angelo Mathews who scored vital runs in the second game for Sri Lanka.
On the contrary, West Indies failed to perform collectively in the batting department having managed only three fifties in the series - two by Bravo and one by Jermaine Blackwood.
Expressing concerns over the batting department, Holder urged the batsmen to take the responsibility going forward.
“Our batting let us down. If you look at the top orders, Sri Lanka's top order batted well and our top order didn't.
“We were always struggling for an opening partnership and never really got it. And in our middle partnerships we struggled again, whereas Sri Lanka got some runs in the middle.
“Going forward we need to look at our top order and hopefully they can put the onus upon themselves to score the bulk of the runs for the team."
When asked about what the West Indies team have learned from the series, Holder replied that the batsmen need to work on the "temperament" to find the right balance between attack and defence.
"I think we need to work on our temperament.
“At times we need to be a lot more patient and know which phases of the game to hang in and in which phases of the game we can attack.
“Sometimes we may look a little rash and sometimes we may look a little defensive.
“We just need to curb aggression with some defence and be a lot more selective."
West Indies next Test assignment will be a tour to Australia in December for a three-match series.
Citing inexperience to be a major hurdle going forward, the West Indian captain expressed confidence on the players to improve as they get more games to play.
“We are a very young side. This is probably the second or third series we are having with this bunch of guys.
“Guys are getting a feel of international cricket. It is important to keep learning. We need to keep progressing to get better.
"We need to keep faith and stick together as a team. I have full confidence on them.”
After losing the Test series, West Indies will be hoping to put on a better show in the three match One-Day International series which gets underway on 1st November.
© Cricket World 2015