West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard was not happy with the pitches offered in the ODI series against Australia and termed them ‘absolutely ridiculous’ after a loss in the series decider. Only once in the series the 250 run mark was breached, by Australia when they posted 252 in the first ODI before bowling out West Indies for 123. In the second ODI, Australia were bowled out for 187 but West Indies had a hard time in chasing the modest score and eventually got past Australia with just four wickets to spare. In the decider, West Indies again could not post a decent total and were bowled for a paltry 152.
Even though the teams played bad cricket, the pitch deserved some criticism. It was not of the quality that teams expect in an international game. The surface was two-paced. It occasionally kept low while shot through at times. Also, it was offering more than enough turn for the spinners. Pollard accepted that his batsmen were not up to the mark but emphasized that pitches in the series did not meet international standards.
“Coming here to Barbados, I think both teams struggled on the pitch and I think that’s unacceptable for international cricket,” he said at the presentation. “We’re not going to make excuses. We accept that we batted badly but I don’t think the scores that we have gotten in this three-match series, for two top international teams, I think that’s very embarrassing for us as a people. Coming from St Lucia to this, I think it’s absolutely ridiculous.”
One man who didn’t mind bowling on the surface was Ashton Agar. Agar picked up 2 wickets for 31 runs in addition to his valuable runs down the order and bagged the Man of the Match award. The spinner said even though the pitch offered enough assistance, the bowlers still needed to bowl the right lengths to get the results in their favour.
“It’s pretty favourable conditions for a spinner,” Agar said. “You just had to get your length right. As long as you were hitting the stumps for the right-hander and pitching the ball to a left-hander, where it’s spinning in and hitting the stumps to bring all modes of dismissal into play, that’s all you can do and you let the pitch go to work.
“Really difficult conditions, really interesting style of cricket that was played. You don’t get many pitches like that and I hope we end up seeing a lot more like that in the future.”
West Indies will next play Pakistan in the four-match T20I series starting July 28 while Australia will fly to Bangladesh for a 5-match T2OI series.