20 April 2012
We cannot lose the series while the Windies can still play for a drawn result even though they will not take the Trophy back. They have not had it for the last 20 years (technically 17 years) since we took it from them during the gruelling 1995 series. They last won the series in 1992, the year I first started watching cricket.
Windsor Park has only had one Test match and this was played last year between the West Indies and India. The ground became the 106th venue to host a Test. Kirk Edwards (currently injured vice-captain of the Windies) and Kieran Powell made their debuts in that match.
The venue cost US$17 million to renovate and get up to a satisfactory standard in order to host International cricket. The site history is interesting in terms of development.
For some more insight into the development, read this information from an online source, ' The stadium is one of the 'Four Pillar Projects' promised by the People's Republic of China to Dominica as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) during the establishment of ties between Dominica and China.'
It sounds like it may be a tough track once again for batting although during the debut match between the West Indies and India, it went as follows:
West Indies 1st innings: 204 runs at 2.66. Outdone by pace bowling.
India 1st innings: 347 runs at 3.70. Pace was the key for the Windies.
West Indies 2nd innings: 322 runs at 2.44. Spin became India's weapon of choice.
India 2nd innings: 94 runs at 2.93 for loss of just 3 wickets.
The match was drawn after Kirk Edwards made a century on debut but it was Shivnarine Chanderpaul who played with his usual brilliance to score a defiant century. He batted for 501 minutes scoring 116 runs off 343 deliveries. He is the leading run scorer in the current series ahead of Michael Hussey and Shane Watson. Focus and typical stamina of a Test innings may be required for this final match. Massive opportunity for our batsmen to get themselves on the map before the break.
A quote leading into that debut match at Windsor Park came from Darren Sammy where he stated, "There is some moisture and that should help the faster bowlers early on,
"Normally, it turns later on in the match, so both the pacers and spinners can expect some help."
Having watched this particular match and looking back on it, Sammy was on the money. It's a common occurrence on most tracks in the Caribbean or India, even in Australia, to get more assistance for spinners later on due to wear and tear in the pitch but it will be interesting to see how the sides stack up with such a short history at the ground.
A short break until the final Test. Quite odd that the scheduling is Monday to Friday. Hope a reasonable crowd can pull in.
*Updated: Embedded video added with a look at the venue.
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