Bat for long hours please, pretty much summed up Ottis Gibson's advice to the West Indies batsmen after a poor performance against India in Kolkata saw the first Test match end in a little under three days.
Gibson did not hold back in his criticism of his batsmen, refusing to lay the blame on the fact that there were only five specialists in the side. As far as the West Indies coach is concerned all that should do is to make the top order own up to more responsibility, hardly seen in the first Test, which India romped by an innings and 51 runs.
"There is only so much talking any coach can do," Gibson said. "When you play five batsmen, and you sit down and stress the importance of those five batsmen, and you set yourself a challenge of batting a day and a half in the first innings, it is then up to those five batsmen to negotiate whatever the opposition bowlers throw at them and hang around for five days.
"[But] when you have a run out and a couple of soft dismissals within those five batsmen then it puts pressure on everybody else. That is exactly what happened. We have to get better. We have to learn those mistakes and try not to repeat them."
The West Indies batsmen failed to spend enough time out in the middle against India at the Eden Gardens, getting all out for 234 from a position of strength at 138 for two in the first innings, before the second innings got even worse, as India, led by an impressive Mohammed Shami bowled the visitors out for just 168.
Gibson has a simple solution. "Try and bat three days," he said. "We won the toss in good batting conditions and we batted 70-odd overs. That is just not good enough. We know in India you have to bat long, put runs on the board, 400 minimum in the first innings really. So the 234 that we made was pretty average.
"We were little bit rusty coming in but we are not going to use that as an excuse. We still had our opportunities to make scores -- we had six or seven guys who got starts and did not carry on. Only one guy got a half-century. When India batted only one or two of those guys got starts and made hundreds. And that was the difference."
The decision made by the West Indies to go with just five batsmen, along with wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin and skipper/all-rounder Darren Sammy copped much criticism. Gibson, though felt it was a strategy that had worked quite well for them in the last few Test matches, although he did admit they might be forced to reconsider before the start of the second Test.
"When you look at the result you sort of want to think that way [if the five-batsmen plan works]. That lineup is the one with which we have played the last three or four Test matches," Gibson added. "We backed those guys and they did not perform as well as they did in the past. It is a two-match series so we have to look at the combination to make sure we still believe strongly that we can win here."
The second Test, Sachin Tendulkar's 200th and final match, begins in Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday.