By Neto Baptiste
Legendary West Indies captain Sir Vivian Richards has lauded what he is calling a magnificent performance by a second string West Indies team and that of debutant Kyle Mayers against Bangladesh in their first Test which ended on Sunday.
Mayers became the first batsman to score a fourth-innings double century on debut, as West Indies chased down 395 runs for a stunning three-wicket win against Bangladesh in the first Test of their two-game series.
“I think the guy Kyle Mayers, he must be given credit that for a debutant to have accomplished such after, I think, was Lawrence Rowe so it was just a magnificent performance and let’s hope that this particular victory itself inspires them to create that confidence that they cannot be beaten in the next,” he said.
Sir Viv, considered one of the greatest batsmen to have played the game, believes that with similar performances in the second and final Test, some of the current lot could make it hard for regional selectors to look past them.
“Bangladesh is a huge opposition in their backyard and they have taken down some of the very best teams in world cricket and for us to have gone there and done that and with a second string team as such, it spells good for the last Test match so let’s see what the continuation is about. Certainly, the achievement of Mayers would have certainly put him in great light for the future on what the selectors are looking for and what part he can play in the future also,” the former successful captain said.
The Antiguan, who scored 8,540 runs in 121 Tests, has however cautioned a probably overly over confident Windies squad to not get too ahead of themselves going into the second and final Test which starts on January 10.
“It’s all about preparing yourself not to get too carried away but to just continue sticking to the basics in terms of the things that would have helped you across the line at first and don’t get too ahead of yourself because sometimes it can happen. There is still another Test match to be played and whatever you would have achieved is now in the history books so it is all left up to how well they, in terms of their mental faculty and how they come in believing that if we cannot win it then we are not going to lose it,” he said.
Mayers, a 28-year-old Barbadian, struck 20 fours and seven sixes to end the match unbeaten on 210, the second-highest score by a West Indian batsman on his Test debut. Only Lawrence Rowe’s 214 against New Zealand at Sabina Park in February 1972 was higher.