Visakhapatnam: Facing a must-win situation to save the three-match ODI series, West Indies coach Ottis Gibson on Saturday urged his top-order batsmen to take up the responsibility and capitalise on good starts.
Both the teams could not train because of wet ground conditions even as the threat of rain interrupting the second ODI had receded as the West Indies coach used the day's break to motivate his side. (Read: Vizag ready for ODI despite rain)
"Obviously, it may look like we need the practice more than they do, but sometimes in situation like this, it gives us an opportunity to sit and have more meaningful discussions about our execution," Gibson said on the eve of the second ODI.
"I have been going around having one-on-one discussions with certain players about certain situations in which they find themselves during matches and discuss how perhaps they can do things better when they find themselves in those situations.
"We have to keep believing in ourselves and our ability. At times, it seems we don't back ourselves often enough, or on the flipside, we back ourselves too much, and we don't assess the situations. We need to be more aware of things and try to capitalise on good starts," he said.
After losing all the two Tests to India, the West Indies were expected to put up a better show in the ODI format but it did not happen as another meek show in Kochi meant that India took a 1-0 lead by chasing down 212 with 88 balls to spare.
"It's hard to pin-point the reason, but we have not batted 50 overs consistently. I have been stressing this to the players. We have 300 balls available to us and that's a lot of balls and the top four to six batsmen have to take responsibility for the bulk of those balls. We have done it previously, but it's something we haven't done against the stronger sides," Gibson said.
"It's something we are looking to improve, as we continuously look to see how we can improve as a side and our decision making under pressure. We simulate putting the players under pressure when we practice, but it really matters when you get into the middle of a game," Gibson said.
"During the Pakistan series at home earlier this year, we did not have big totals to defend and the bowlers fought in our conditions, but the conditions in India are very different and we either have to put bigger totals on the board if we bat first, or restrict them to a total which we know is manageable for our batting," a concerned West Indies coach said.
A half-century from left-hander Darren Bravo propped up the West Indies batting, as they were dismissed for 211 in 48.5 overs in the first ODI.
"It's frustrating because we sit as a team and we have targets about where we want to be at 10 overs, 20 overs, 30 overs, 40 overs, not only in terms of runs, but also wickets lost," Gibson said.
"At every stage, we are way ahead of our targets or on-par with where we want to be but we had lost one or two wickets too many.
"In the last 10 overs, it's then left to the bowlers to negotiate and this has been something that has been happening for the last few series," he said.
"Judging from the series that India recently played at home against Australia, we know that 211 is not really going to be a competitive total. We had a platform to put 280 on the board. We do not know if that would have been enough, but at least it would have been a decent total but that didn't happen.
"When we bowled we were able to create some pressure, but we could not sustain for long enough period and the total we had was not enough. It's frustrating because the guys are working hard and we have what I consider to be solid plans, but we are not executing those plans well enough," Gibson conceded.
For the record, the Windies have won just seven of their 21 ODIs this year which have also included two tied contests.