GALLE, Sri Lanka (CMC):
The West Indies are hoping that the two tactical changes to their bowling attack will pay off in the second Test and help them level the two-match series against Sri Lanka.
After their 187 defeat in the preliminary test last week, the Caribbean side have picked up left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul and veteran Kemar Roach, who replaces off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall and speedster Shannon Gabriel.
Only two and a half hours of play in the final session was possible on Monday’s opening day due to rain, with the hosts reaching 113 for one after choosing to strike.
“Looking at the Sri Lankan batting line-up, they are packed with right-handed and we felt that with Roston (Chase) already bowling off spin, it would have been wiser to go in with the two left-handed. spinners, “said Estwick.
“I thought Jomel Warrican, in the few overs he hit tonight, looked threatening. He walked a lot past the bat.
“Permaul obviously came back after being out of test cricket for a while, I thought he looked good to begin with, but then a field change meant he went a bit too wide.
“He needed to be a little more challenging on the outside and inside edge.
“I had a discussion with him, he completely agrees and he will come tomorrow and make the adjustment.”
The 32-year-old Permaul played the last of his six tests six years ago and has taken 18 wickets with 43 runs apiece.
Warrican was in the first test along with Chase and Cornwall, where Gabriel and former skipper Jason Holder stood for the most important seams.
The attack, however, proved ineffective on a slow, turning trajectory, and Sri Lanka collected a total of 386 and 191 for four declared, en route to a day five victory.
Cornwall took two wickets from 42 overs in the first Test, but Estwick clarified that those returns had not been the reason for his exclusion.
“We felt it would have been wiser to go with a bowler who spun it away from [right-hander’s] bat, and that was what the decision was based on, ”he stressed.
“It was not based on how well he bowled or not bowled in the last test match. It’s just that we are looking to win this test match and we are looking for the best possible combination.”
Roach sat out surprisingly in the first test as voters chose Gabriel’s fast pace.
However, the Trinidadian only required two wickets from 19 overs in the first innings before sending four more overs down the second innings and leaving the field.
Roach is the leading Windies fast bowler with 231 wickets from 67 tests, just four scalps behind the legendary Sir Garry Sobers, who is seventh on the all-time list.
Estwick said the plan had always been to rotate Roach and Gabriel to keep the seam in the attack “fresh”.
“Of course with a short turnaround, there are three days between the test matches. It is clear that there has been a lot of rain around Galle and the fields are a bit heavy, so it is very, very stressful for the body of the fast bowlers,” he said.
“Kemar did not play in the first test and it was planned – [that] he would come in for the second test and keep the bowlers fresh.
“You now have to manage your bowlers, especially with the short turnaround time. Before, you had eight or 10 days between test matches – that’s a thing of the past.
“So you have to make sure all the bowlers are up and when they are called to, they are ready to go.”