Stuart Law, the Windies coach, insisted he was determined to oversee a change in the team’s fortunes after a crushing first Test loss to England but admitted the series was “a mismatch”.
The tourists head into Friday’s (August 25) second Test at Headingley 1-0 down in a three-match series after suffering a mammoth innings-and-209-run defeat as the first day-night Test in Britain ended inside three days at Edgbaston on Saturday.
Law’s men lost 19 wickets on the third day, with James Anderson and Stuart Broad doing most of the damage as the Windies were skittled out for 168 and 137 in reply to England’s 514 for 8 declared.
Curtly Ambrose had labelled the side’s performance “totally embarrassing” but, with the series now reverting to standard Test hours, Law was confident of an improved showing by his fledgling side.
“It is a mismatch in talent and a mismatch in experience,” Law told reporters at Headingley on Wednesday. “Having said that, we are going to make sure we understand we need to fight hard. We understand there’s a lot of people out there who are disappointed in our performance. But I can tell you right now there’s no one more disappointed than the dressing room themselves. We had a session up in Birmingham as well which highlighted the fact we are ‘fair dinkum’ about turning this around.
“We had to bat against two pretty decent bowlers (James Anderson and Stuart Broad) in favourable conditions under lights and when it was overcast. Taking that in, we understand we’ve got to be better and we’re aiming to do that.”
Quite how much progress Windies can make in just a few days remains to be seen, but Law said: “The boys know it’s an attitude change. They need to want to stand up and fight and they’ve all spoken about that.”
Law, who took charge in February, indicated Windies would retain the same XI.
“I think these guys need a chance to prove that they are good enough to play for the West Indies. They’ve got the opportunity to turn it around.”
Excluding matches against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, Windies have won just three out of 87 away Tests during the past 20 years.
“They are young men, they haven’t played cricket in this part of the world. It’s very difficult to play cricket (in England), particularly as a batsman,” added Law, who enjoyed successful spells as a player with English counties Essex and Lancashire.
“It’s a difficult game when you are playing against two guys (Anderson and Broad) who’ve got nearly 1,000 wickets in Test cricket and we’ve got guys playing their first games here.”
But Law insisted he supported his players “100 percent”.
“I believe these guys have got the talent,” he said. “It’s not going to happen overnight. We need them to understand that it’s difficult and we need people out there to understand it’s difficult.
“International cricket’s pretty tough and in this part of the world, when you are playing against an experienced England side, it’s even tougher. Australia came here a couple of years ago, got bowled out for 60 (when England clinched the Ashes at Trent Bridge in 2015), so we’re not going too bad.”