Kolkata: The brittle batting line-up of the West Indies have, for a more than a decade now, been a bane for the team to hold their own in the longest format of the game. This is where the performance of a Nkrumah Bonner - who scored a match-saving century against Sri Lanka earlier this week - or double centurion Kyle Mayers’ emergence can make a difference.
Mayers scored an unbeaten 210 on debut when the West Indies chased down the fifth highest target in Test cricket as they scored 395-7 to beat Bangladesh in Chattogram last month and Bonner struck his maiden Test ton to ensure a draw in the first Test against in Antigua.
‘‘It shows that the guys have a lot of fight. Coming from Bangladesh, many times we batted over 90 overs,’’ Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite told a news conference on Friday.
‘‘We batted close to 90 overs again against Sri Lanka and thats a positive and I think those guys are leading the way - Bonner and Kyle Mayers. They have only played in three Tests but they are setting the standard high and its for all the batsmen to follow and the team.
‘‘I think these are positive steps for West Indies cricket and once our attitude is right, the sky is the limit.’’
Jamaican Bonner has emerged as a late bloomer, making his Test debut aged 32. He was a replacement after a spate of withdrawals before the tour of Bangladesh and has grabbed his chance.
Mayers, 28 from Barbados, became only the sixth player in Test history to record a double century on debut and followed that with a half century against Sri Lanka when he and Bonner held out on the last day of the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
The second Test starts on Monday at the same venue. ‘‘Its for us to come out again with the same attitude and we just have to keep growing,” Brathwaite said. “We won’t always get wins but Im happy with the fight this team has,’’ he added.