'These pitches are frustrating us' - Pooran after West Indies' 3-0 loss to Bangladesh
West Indies white-ball captain Nicholas Pooran has criticised the pitches used for the ODIs against Bangladesh in Guyana, after the home side lost the series 3-0.
The subcontinent-style surfaces at the Providence Stadium put a lot of emphasis on the toss. Bangladesh called correctly in all three games, and won by chasing low totals.
Pooran's opposite number, Tamim Iqbal, also said the pitches were "worse than Mirpur," in reference to the Shere Bangla National Stadium, which is known for slow and low surfaces that offer turn.
"These pitches are not helping us," Pooran said. "The most it is doing is frustrating us as a group. It doesn't matter who we brought into the team, we will struggle on wickets like this. Tamim Iqbal got Man of the Series for scoring 110  runs. We do know that every time we got good batting pitches in the Caribbean, we as a batting unit have been doing well. Not only batting wickets, but better cricket pitches.
"Nine-thirty start is always challenging… a lot of moisture in the wicket. That had been the biggest challenge for us. The toss hasn't gone in our favour in the last six ODIs in the Caribbean, and we lost all six [five]. I believe that the toss played a big role."
Despite the pitches, West Indies have looked lost as a batting unit of late. In the rain-affected first ODI, they lasted the allocated 41 overs thanks to an unbeaten 39-run stand for the tenth wicket between Anderson Phillip and Jayden Seales. In the other two games, they were bowled out for 108 and 178 respectively. Before this, in Pakistan, they were bowled out for 216 and 155 in consecutive ODIs.
In February, Kieron Pollard, who was West Indies' white-ball captain at the time, had talked about trying to bat full 50 overs. Pooran also reiterated the same goal.
"As a batting group, [we have to] try to bat 50 overs," Pooran said. "It is the game plan for us. We weren't looking at any target, to be honest. We tried to assess the wicket as fast as possible. Our goal was to bat 50 overs but we fell short by one over today [in the third ODI]."
West Indies were also at a disadvantage because Keemo Paul couldn't bowl due to a hamstring injury, while Rovman Powell also pulled up with a side strain.
"I definitely felt that we had a really good chance," Pooran said. "We knew the wicket would get better as well. But losing Keemo Paul was big for us, especially since his skills were key in Providence. We were one bowler short. I had to bowl seven overs, which made it very difficult."
Pooran was one of two bright spots for West Indies in the third ODI, having made 73 off 109 balls, but felt that he should have stuck around for longer. Left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie, who took a four-wicket haul, was another positive for West Indies.
"If that half-century helped us win the game, then definitely... I know I have to improve my batting, and as a team, we have a lot of work to do. I played well today but I left 20-30 runs out there. It was vital for the team. If we got those runs, maybe we would have won the game today.
"[Motie] has been tremendous in the entire series, not just today's game. It was his debut series in front of his home crowd. He was consistent, something that we have been asking of the spinners for a long time. I am just happy that he took his opportunity with both hands."
West Indies' next assignment begins in less than a week's time. They will host India for three ODIs and five T20Is starting July 22.