Sports, Cricket

I don’t play names, I just play the ball: Mayers


Published : 26 Jun 2022 07:37 PM

Kyle Mayers, the West Indian all-rounder, didn't go over the top with his celebration after reaching his second Test ton against Bangladesh in St Lucia on Saturday (June 25). Mayers, who scored six off his pads to bring up the landmark, was aware that there still was work that needed to be done to take his team to a position of dominance after having saved the day for the hosts with an innings of an unbeaten 126 runs.

He looked confident batting on his own aggressive terms to bring the hosts back into the game after they were pushed by Bangladesh in the opening session.

''I think it went pretty good for Bangladesh. We had a good start with Kraigg and John but you know I just figured that sometimes when you are playing on surfaces like this, the intent needs to be a little more positive. I think what happened is we got ourselves in a little bit of a rocking boat as everybody hoping to get in and look for partnership and that is good but I still think that you got to be very positive in your approach and the intent should be (there) as I believe that runs are all that matters in the game and you got to look for runs. Batting long might be good but you got to still look for runs,'' chief selector Desmond Haynes told Ian Bishop at the break of lunch when his attention was drawn to the first session that saw the visitors getting back into the game with three quick wickets as West Indies had gone from 100/0 to 132/4.

Mayers, who announced his arrival with his magnificent double hundred against Bangladesh on debut in Chattogram, simply changed the complexion of the game by coming up with a counterattack that forced the visitors to go into defensive mode after trying all the tricks that were under their sleeve. His decision to go after Mehidy Hasan seemed to be like breaking a psychological barrier considering the right-arm off-spinner already removed him on quite a few occasions in the past. It was something that visitors hardly anticipated, and Mehidy in particular, looked simply out of ideas as he started to bowl onto Mayers's legs afterward, being punished for trying to use the cross breeze-aided drift that brought him success earlier on.

The batsman, however, did not admit that Mehidy's name was going through his mind.''Not necessarily (having any score to settle with Mehidy). I think he is a good bowler and I never had it on my mind that he got me out before you know. Anyone can get anyone out once a bowler bowls a good delivery so I don't go about playing names. I just play the ball," Mayers said after the game.

Together with Jermaine Blackwood, the No.6 batted through the second session that laid the foundation for West Indies not only to take the lead, but dominating the course of the game after being pushed back earlier in the day. The pair added 116 runs for the fifth wicket before the latter fell to Mehidy. Later, he along with Joshua da Silva, the wicketkeeper (26), shared 92 runs for the unbroken sixth-wicket stand that helped the Windies take a lead of 106 runs.

Mayers, who is known to be very strong on his offside, made sure that he played to his strengths as he picked 101 runs from offside, while the rest 25 came from the onside. He was particularly harsh with his drives that got him most of the runs and it proved to yield dividends for him considering he was not ready to play anything across the line of the delivery; it could have proved fatal due to behavior of the surface where the balls were not coming at the same pace all the times, a reason Blackwood failed to survive against Mehidy trying to play him across. Mayers said that he backed his positive approach to put pressure back on the opposition.

"Just to be as positive as possible (when I went to bat). You know the situation we were in we lost three quick wickets... I just thought being myself counterattack the game back on the opposition and changing the momentum was key. It's just a matter of fully committing the way I do. I am very decisive in terms of stroke play and I was very positive. When I attack, I give it all, and when I defend, I give it all too. Just being very decisive making right choices," he said.

"I think they bowled well in patches and when I get the opportunity to score, I tried to maximize every chance that I got to score. It's just a patience game. As I said, it's just not the pitches that you can blast the opposition and have to be patient both batting and bowling and any chance I got, I tried to capitalize on it," he said.

"I think it's a decent enough wicket and it's not a wicket where you can blast away the opposition so we need as many runs as possible and I think there is lot of time still in the game. So 200 (lead) would be ideal for us to get."