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Time For West Indies To Dig Deep - Richardson

Richie Richardson
Richie Richardson (left) says it is time for the West Indies to dig deep as they try to level the series in Hamilton
©WICB Media / Adriel Richard

Richie Richardson, the former West Indian captain and now team manager, says his side will have to dig deep and play to their potential if they are to win the third Test against New Zealand.

The series has been a difficult one for the tourists. They fought back after following on to draw in Dunedin before they were thrashed by an innings and 73 runs.

They will also be without off-spinner Shane Shillingford - their most successful bowler in 2013 - after he was suspended from bowling due to an illegal action.

But while Richardson admits that his absence is a disappointment, he knows that they can't dwell on it and need to prepare properly for tonight's third game in Hamilton.

"It has been a disappointment for us, but we realise it’s very important for us to focus on the Test match," Richardson said.

"We need to win this Test match. We may have not Shane available to us, but we need to win it for him. Also we have millions of supporters who continue to stand up for us - some of them over here in New Zealand and we want to bring them some good cheer.

"What’s happened, it’s sad, but you are playing the game at the highest level and the players cannot afford to head into the Test with too many things in the back of their minds. They have to focus on what is ahead of them - which is to win this Test."

Despite the crushing defeat in Wellington, where the West Indies showed little resistance in thece of excellent New Zealand bowling, Richardson maintains that there is a good feeling in the camp.

"The morale in the team is still very positive," he said. "The players are still in great spirits and we all know that we have to dig deep and work hard and win this Test.

"We have been doing a lot of normal things. The coach has been meeting with the players, individually and in groups, and we have been training hard. We know we are not playing to the best of our abilities and all we have got to do is dig deep, play as a unit, play to our potential and we can win this Test."

And Richardson, who played 86 Tests and 224 One-Day Internationals, has been passing on the benefit of his vast experience to the squad in his new role of team manager.

"The guys talk to me about things all the time," he said. "I speak to them one-on-one and offer a lot of motivational stuff.

"I’m not a coach and so I have to let the coaches do their jobs, but I have a good relationship with all of the players and from time-to-time we discuss various aspects of the game and how to be competitive at the highest level.

"I have had good responses from the players, they listen and I think we have a good thing going in the team."

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