Bourda 100s are extra special The captain's
view by Carl Hooper
Stabroek News
April 17, 2002

Related Links: Carl Hooper
Letters Menu Archival Menu

The first test match is now over and while a draw looked the most likely result, I was a bit disappointed that the rain as so often is the case, had the final say in the end.

The Bourda pitch as I predicted, was more in the favour of the batsmen.

The bounce and pace were fairly even and consistent and the spinners got very little turn.

The final day I thought would have been ideal for our frontline batters, particularly, the openers to have another closer look at the Indian bowlers.

Both, Stuart Williams and Chris Gayle would have welcomed a second dig on the track to get a bit of runs going into the second test, which starts in a matter of days in Trinidad and Tobago.

While on the batting, I was really happy to see Shiv going on to three figures. I thought that he played well. Unlike the typical Shiv Chanderpaul innings, this one was full of aggression with a lot of shots and an air of a man who is very confident and hungry for runs. I know it will continue. Congratulations to Shiv!!!

Personally, I cannot describe how I felt after driving Kumble square of the wicket to bring up my own three figures. If allowed to and my beautiful Godsend wife not being there, you might have seen a strip dance!!!! That's how good it felt.

Hundreds at Bourda in any kind of game are always special to me. Simply, it is where I have learnt all my cricket in my younger days. I am sure Shiv felt the same way. It is now important for us to carry on, being the form batters early in the series.

I must mention Sarwan, who continues to impress. For someone so young he plays with a lot of maturity and composure and I know his first test hundred will come during this series.

The maestro Brian Lara was unfortunate to be given out caught behind, but that's cricket and I'm sure that he's going to turn it on at The Oval in Trinidad, his home ground for the second test.

Generally, we achieved what we had initially set out to do in the batting department. We have a game plan as to how we are going to achieve certain totals and these goals in the end were met. We could have done better when you consider that 501 was scored from only three major contributions. Therefore, I would say that while I was generally happy with the way we batted there is still work to be done.

The bowling on the other hand, when we took the field, was good in spells. We generally lacked the consistency that was needed on a pitch such as Bourda, to build pressure on the Indian batsmen. Too many easy scoring opportunities were presented which took a lot of pressure off the batsmen. At this level it is important to make scoring difficult, especially when batting conditions are near perfect. We tried, but we obviously will have to lift it a couple of notches.....

The new boy Adam Sanford held his own well and didn't look out of his depth and all looks well for his future.

I still think that he is going to surprise a lot people during this series. I think the pluses from a bowling point of view is that we have shown that we can get into the meat of the Indian batting fairly easily, even though we were held up in the end. A touch more consistency and we will be allright.

Mahendra Nagamootoo in his first test match at home, bowled well and took a big scalp, Sachin Tendulkar. He also looked threatening during Dravid's early part of his innings and it will be interesting to see how he develops as we play on a more bowler friendly track in Trinidad.

The Indians like us, would have come away wiser after the first test and they will obviously be looking to improve on areas in their game. They were unfortunate not to have the services of

Harbhajan Singh who I think was out with a shoulder problem. He is according to reports, most likely available for the second test match which will strengthen their bowling.

Kumble, Khan and Srinath I have seen bowl better and just like us, I am sure they will be better prepared for the second test match.

I am looking forward to the game in Trinidad as results here have always been favourable to the West Indies.

Thanks to everyone for the tremendous support during the test match at Bourda, we needed it.

I hope that this continues as we move through the regions.

God Bless.