When Richie Richardson talks about coming out of retirement, that's probably not a good sign for the West Indies.
The legendary former batsman and current team manager was talking with his tongue firmly embedded in his cheek, but he was also making a pointed message to his charges ahead of the third and final test against New Zealand starting in Hamilton tomorrow.
Apart from Darren Bravo's fighting double century in the the second innings of the first test draw in Dunedin, the tourists' batsmen have been undone by the Black Caps' swing bowlers.
And while the Seddon Park wicket should offer similar assistance to the quicks as the Basin Reserve did last week, Richardson said such decks shouldn't cause undue fears for the West Indies batsmen.
"For me personally, what I saw at the Basin Reserve, I wanted to make a comeback," said Richardson, who scored 5949 runs in 86 tests at an average of 44.39.
"As a batsman, I see those wickets as ones that you have to work that bit harder, but once you get in it's relatively easy to make runs.
"I see these wickets as a challenge, and that's how we should see them - we certainly have the potential and ability to bat on these wickets.
"You've got to be prepared to cope with all sorts of wickets and conditions. You've got to cope with what you are confronted with."
He believes the tourists will display a fighting spirit as they attempt to bounce back from being 1-0 down.
"At the end of the day, what are you going to do - just lie down and take a beating?" Richardson said.
"I certainly don't believe in that; I believe in bouncing back. That's how you show your true heart. I don't think the players are just going to lie down and take a beating from New Zealand.
"We've beaten them recently in the Caribbean, so we know we can beat them."
Richardson said the tourists needed to shrug off the absence of spinner Shane Shillingford, who on Tuesday was banned from playing in the third test because of an illegal bowling action.
"It's a disappointment for us, but we realise it's very important for us to focus on the test match.
"We need to win this test match and we know that we don't have Shane, but we're going to do it for him. You've just got to focus on what's ahead of you and our focus right now is to win this test match."
Sunil Narine is likely to take his place and the hosts will be wary of him after he caused the Black Caps problems in the test and one-day series in the Caribbean last year.
Allrounder Corey Anderson is in doubt for the home side, but is confident of moving from the injury list to the starting XI by tomorrow.
Anderson had scans yesterday on a lower leg injury yesterday. However, the hard-hitting left-hander was highly optimistic he would be cleared to play.
Otago Volts allrounder Jimmy Neesham has been brought in as cover for Anderson.
Anderson has a history of injury problems which hindered his initial development after making his debut as a 16-year-old for Canterbury in 1997.
But he didn't expect the latest problem to be serious.
"I'm starting to know my own body pretty well now, and I know when things feel bad," Anderson said.
Anderson took three wickets with his left-arm seamers against the Windies in the innings and 73-run win in Wellington, but felt his key duty for the side was as a No 6 batsman.
"I still think my job is to get runs. What I do with the ball is a bonus.
"But the beauty of being an allrounder is that if you don't do anything with the bat you can still contribute with the ball."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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