Hooper blames poor batting and catching
Guyana Chronicle
October 21, 2002

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MADRAS, India (Reuters) - Disappointed West Indies skipper Carl Hooper has blamed poor batting and catching for his team's defeat in the second Test to lose the series against India.

"It was hard to find any positives," Hooper said after his team suffered an eight-wicket defeat on the fourth day yesterday.

"It is a shame that an international side playing at this level should fare so badly. We are not playing cricket at all."

Hooper blamed his batsmen for not converting starts in the second innings that saw West Indies pass the 200-mark for the first time in four innings in the series.

"We got a couple of 50s but nobody went on make a big score. If we play like this we're always going to be up against it."

Ramnaresh Sarwan top-scored with 78 after opener Wavell Hinds hit 61 but it proved inadequate in the end.

Hooper said his batsmen failed to cash in after he chose to bat first in Madras, skittled for 167 on the first day, which effectively killed his side's hopes of a comeback on a turning track.

The defeat came after the tourists were humiliated by an innings and 112 runs in the first Bombay Test where they were dismissed for 157 and 188 respectively.

"It is more disappointing than the last Test. There we batted second, but here we had the chance to make first use of the wicket, but did not."

He was also disappointed by his side's poor catching after seven chances were put down in Madras. First Test centurion Virender Sehwag was a major beneficiary in both the Tests.

"What is disturbing is the catching. We dropped 11 or 12 in two games and that is just not on," he said.

The Caribbean batting has struggled in the absence through illness of leading batsman Brian Lara and Hooper said the visitors paid the price for being too negative.

"In Bombay the shot selection left much to be desired," he said. "We were a bit more positive in the second innings, but it was too far gone."

West Indies' improved effort of 229 in their second innings only helped avoid a second consecutive innings defeat after India had taken a 149-run first innings lead.

"When the opposition is playing as well as they are, if we give them a lead of 150 runs it's never going to be easy thereafter."

He refused to blame the turning pitches of variable bounce. "The wicket was okay. We have played on worse wickets in India."

Coach Roger Harper said inexperience was no excuse for the manner of defeat.

"Even the seniors did not manage to get big scores. Nobody put up his hand to be counted," he said.