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WI bowling coach expects struggle for bowlers as they lack experience

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West Indies bowling coach Roddy Estwick admitted that his bowlers are inexperienced and still learning their trade at the International level. India declared their innings at 566 for 8 and WI were 31 for 1 at the end of second day’s play.

Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli scored his maiden first-class double century (200) and was dismissed by Shannon Gabriel. Ravichandran Ashwin also scored a magnificent century (113) as India took complete control of the match. This was Ashwin’s third Test hundred and all of them have been scored against Windies. Wriddhiman Saha also chipped in with 40 valuable runs.

“Obviously it is a good wicket for batting. But also we must bear in mind that as a bowling attack we have lost Jerome Taylor to retirement and we have also lost Kemar Roach, who has not been selected. When you look at our bowling attack, it is about 40-45 Tests between them,” Estwick said at the post match press conference.

“The current bowlers are still learning the art of fast bowling and trying to get the combinations right. So it is going to be a long struggle. And remember that India are a very good batting side as well. It will be a tough series for us and we will continue to work hard, continue to stay disciplined and as focused as possible,” he added.

Estwick was having a hard time to explain why his bowlers could not wrap up the tail and dismissed them quickly. Amit Sharma scored a vital half century batting down the order.

“It is a very good batting pitch and when you get to 400/4, the batsmen, even the tailenders, can come out and play freely. It is a big difference from when you are 50/4 then the ball game changes. But when you get to that total and you have the license to go play shots, obviously the declaration is going to come. So there is no pressure on their batsmen at all. Hopefully we will see down the series what happens when they are under pressure,” he said.

“Plus, once Kohli was at the wicket, it was very tough to attack. If you look at how he was playing he was scoring at a run a ball and scoring freely. With containing you have a job to do and Roston Chase is in his first Test match, Carlos Brathwaite has only played three Tests, and Jason Holder in his 15th Test. We are still learning as young players.

“I heard a couple weeks ago England lamenting the loss of Jimmy Anderson, yet they have Stuart Broad with 99 Tests. So with a bowling unit it takes time and you have to be patient with a very young attack. And we are playing against a very good Indian batting line up on a pitch that is very good as well,” the coach defended.

WI will have to bat out of their skins to save the match and if they want to compete in the series going forward then bowling has to step up and make amends. They have to play five genuine bowlers to challenge the visitors.

“It is a simple thing. We have to bat very well and bat deep into the fourth day and if we can do that, until just after tea on the fourth day, that will give us a chance of saving the game. But the first thing to do is avoid the follow on and somebody in the top four will have to get a very big hundred like Kohli.

“So it is important that one of the batsmen says that look this is a good pitch and I am going to capitalise here and if they can come to our backyard and do it, we can do it as well,” Estwick said.