WEST INDIES bowling coach Roddy Estwick is urging the WI bowling attack to remain disciplined and patient, entering the second day of the second and final Test against Sri Lanka at the Galle International Stadium, Galle on Tuesday.
On a rain-hit opening day on Monday, Sri Lanka closed on 113/1 with Pathum Nissanka unbeaten on 61, while his opening partner and captain Dimuth Karunaratne made 42. Off-spinner Roston Chase is the lone wicket-taker for the West Indies.
During a post-day interview on the Cricket West Indies' social media channels, Estwick said, "We've got to contain (the batsmen), we've got to make sure that we get our field placings right. We've got to be disciplined on this pitch, even though it's spinning slowly."
The former Barbados fast bowler continued, "We've got to make sure that our planning is spot-on. We've got to be patient on these kinds of wickets. We've got to keep restricting them, because there are wicket-taking balls around the corner."
The West Indies made two changes from the squad which was beaten by 187 runs in the first Test last week, with Kemar Roach replacing fellow fast bowler Shannon Gabriel and left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul included at the expense of off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall.
This was the 32-year-old Permaul's first Test match since 2015, against Australia, at Sabina Park in Jamaica. With the WI selectors retaining Jomel Warrican in the starting XI, this was also the first time that the Windies had fielded two specialist left-arm spinners in a Test since April 1973, when the Trinidad pair of Raphick Jumadeen and Inshan Ali played against Australia at the Queen's Park Oval, St Clair.
"When you look at the Sri Lanka batting line-up, they're packed with right-handers," said Estwick. "We found that, with Roston already bowling off-spin, it would be wiser to go with two left-arm spinners.
"I thought Jomel Warrican, in the few overs he bowled, looked threatening. Permaul, coming back from being out of Test cricket for a while, I thought he looked good initially, but a change of field meant he went a little bit wide. He needed to be on the stumps a little bit more."
Asked what Permaul offers that is different from Cornwall, Estwick replied, "Spinning (the ball) away from the bat. With the (number) of right-handers in the Sri Lanka batting line-up, we felt it would have been wiser to go with a bowler spinning away from the bat. The decision was based on that.
"We're looking to win this Test match and we're looking at the best combination possible."
About the bowling performance on Monday, Estwick said, "I thought it was good. We could have been better, too many boundary balls, but I thought Kemar and Jason (Holder), bowling 13 overs on the trot, they went past the bat quite a lot."
Karunaratne made scores of 147 and 83 in the first Test. Estwick pointed out, "Their captain is in good form. I think we stuck to our plans well. We wanted to take the stumps out of the equation and make him hit the ball through the off-side. I think we achieved that.
"We could have gotten one or two more wickets but that's how cricket goes. We'll come tomorrow, we'll work hard, we'll keep reviewing our plans and trying to execute them."
On Roach's inclusion at the expense of Gabriel, Estwick said, "With the short turnaround, it's three days between Test matches. There has been lots of rain around Galle. The field is a little bit heavy, so it's very taxing on the fast bowlers' bodies.
"Kemar didn't play in the first Test and that was planned, for Kemar to come in for the second (Test), to keep the bowlers fresh. You've got to manage your bowlers, especially in a short turnaround time."
Asked if the pitch will offer any assistance to the pace bowlers, Estwick responded, "There is not a lot in it, but Jason bowled a tremendous spell. He could have easily gotten about three wickets. You've still got to hit the right areas."