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Ramdin calls on players to believe in themselves

PORT ELIZABETH: West Indian captain Denesh Ramdin said on Thursday he believed his team’s problems against South Africa was a lack of self-belief although he stressed several times they were up against the number one team in the world.

Speaking ahead of the second Test, which starts at St George’s Park on Friday, Ramdin said: “We need to believe in ourselves.”

He highlighted the failure of any West Indian batsman to score more than 39 on the way to defeat by an innings and 220 runs in the first Test in Centurion.

The West Indies batting line-up had been significantly weakened prior to the tour with the withdrawals of explosive opener Chris Gayle and the experienced Darren Bravo.

“We’ve stressed to the guys who got starts in the first Test that they need to kick on to 70, 80, even a hundred.”

Ramdin said the good performances in Port Elizabeth would be important for individuals.

“Playing against the number one team in the world you want to do well. If you do well you get a lot of credit for it.”

The West Indian captain said he believed that the loss through injury of Kemar Roach, their best bowler at Centurion, could be overcome by the inclusion of either Shannon Gabriel or Kenroy Peters.

“They are both good enough to do the same job as Kemar.”

The message to the bowlers was to bowl a fuller length than they did in the first Test, where short-pitched bowling was dealt with comfortably by the South African batsmen.

“Hopefully the guys will look deep into themselves and pull out that magical performance,” said Ramdin.

South African captain Hashim Amla, meanwhile, looked for more of the same from his players.

“The guys are nice and fresh after a few days off. Hopefully we can set the tone as we did in the first Test.”

Amla said it was likely South Africa would include Pakistan-born leg-spinner Imran Tahir.

The 35-year-old — who has taken just 40 wickets in his previous 15 tests — was called up as the sole specialist spinner after an injury to left-armer Robin Peterson.

“Traditionally the ball tends to turn a bit here, so a spinner has more of a role to play,” said 31-year-old Amla.

Amla added he expected the St George’s Park pitch to be more batsman friendly than Centurion — even though he scored 208 there — although he cautioned that because of the surface, scoring rates tended to be slower. -AFP

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