Battling Tino Best has little to show for hard slog
It's hard not to feel some sympathy for the ambushed West Indies this week, and hard-toiling fast bowler Tino Best agreed.
"My mother always said to me, 'Tino, as a professional you can't worry about looking for excuses'. We are a little tired, I am a little jetlagged, and today [yesterday] is the most I've ever bowled in a test innings. You've just got to run in and bowl," he said.
Best arrived with the ODI squad members as recently as Saturday, having sat out the three internationals in India after their 2-0 test series drubbing. It was hardly ideal for the spearhead of the touring attack, who ended with 3-148 from 34.1 overs.
The West Indies bowled better than their woeful opening day of the first test, but there were a few more issues as they chased leather and New Zealand racked up 609-9 declared at Dunedin's University Oval.
Best was warned twice for running on the pitch, and captain Darren Sammy limped off with a gluteal strain after bowling 23.1 overs, handing gloveman Denesh Ramdin the captaincy for the next hour. Sammy returned but fielded at slip and didn't bowl.
"He's our warrior," said media manager Adriel 'Woody' Richard, who insisted the injury wasn't serious for their skipper and key all-rounder.
At times the West Indies looked like they'd rather be anywhere else, even if chilly Dunedin turned on some brilliant weather. With more of the same forecast for the next three days, rain won't save the tourists but some hard-nosed batting will.
"Most definitely [we can save the test]. We have the batting talent in our team to bat long periods around someone like Shiv [Chanderpaul]. We need to put our hand up and be counted," Best said.
"It's been a tough five/six weeks now. When we played against New Zealand on our home turf they looked out of it, they are home now and much more comfortable. We just have to go out there and bat properly and compete."
Meanwhile, the West Indies remain unsure when opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite will arrive. A late injury replacement for Chris Gayle, the tourists claimed he was having trouble getting a visa. Immigration New Zealand said yesterday an application had finally been received, and accepted.