West Indies in England 2012 May 21, 2012

Better win than be second favourites

I once mindlessly suggested to my father that it was a shame to see the Windies struggling
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I once mindlessly suggested to my father that it was a shame to see the Windies struggling. That was followed by him abusing me for a long time about how you shouldn’t feel sorry for them, as they happily beat up on everyone when they had that chance. His scars were still raw.

But that attitude seems to be disappearing in recent times. The Windies are fast becoming the second favourite team of cricket fans, especially to those who never saw them pummel their country’s batsmen inside their heads.

They’ve been a perfect second side of late. They have exciting young cricketers, mystery bowlers, mini Lara, a talented young quick, and they’re not likely to beat your team in a Test match.

Not that they don’t get close.

At home against India, they worked themselves into several good positions only to end up losing or drawing. And against Australia they played well only to fall apart when they needed to be at their best.

Yet again, they’ve snuck up on a better side and find themselves with a good chance of winning the Test. Rudi Webster, the former Windies psychologist, recently said they don’t know how to win. To beat England when they’re chasing less than 200 on a solid batting pitch at home, you need to really back yourself.

The two wickets were promising. But there is little to lose in a four over session that is essentially being played with Hammer Horror type lighting. It is when England puts on a partnership of any note or as they close in on the total that the Windies will be under real pressure.

Will they do everything they can to win this match, or will they just put in another effort that annoys the opposition before they eventually fold?

It’s nice to be everyone’s second favourite team, but it’s better to win a few matches. They may never be universally feared or hated again, but it would be nice if they could do more than just temporarily annoy fans, and on occasions like this, really ruin the mood of a few like my dad.

Jarrod Kimber is 50% of the Two Chucks, and the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • danoz on July 7, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    the west indies have about 5 million people and are realitivly poor in comparrison to england and australia.the west indies doesnt have the funds of india,australia and england.

    surprisly the west indies biggest weakness is thier fast bowlers,fidel edwards and kumar roach bowl around 145km and ravi rampaul 135km and sammy 130km,none are tall like english bowlers.

    in the 1980's they had 4 bowlers around the 150km mark and joel garner who was close to 7feet.the west indies need a fast bowling acadamy on every island.

    i would set up a west indies division 2(like county championship) with carribean nations who play cricket at a low standard like belize,cuba,caymen islands,turk and caicos,bahamas,dominican republic,haiti,puetro rico and suriname.and bring games to these islands,the windward island can play in martinique,leeward islands can play in guadulope and puetro rico,guyana can play in suriname,jaimaica can play in belize and cuba.

    when they improve they can go in division 1

  • Phil Hutch on June 1, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    I have been watching West Indies team for the past decade. The selectors and management is a bunch of jokers. they keep on talking about, the team is improving. what team is improving,when the batting is good there was no bowling, now the bowling is good, they get rid of the good batting, so they must be confuse as to what they wanted, any one in the world who understand cricket, know that you can pick a windies side from the discorded players, that can easiely beat this Otis Gibbs, Sammy, and Hillier side, it a disgrace. They need to go.

  • Ken Jones on May 28, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    I would like to know why the West Indies selectors did not pick Brendon Nash to tour England? Otis Gibson and Darren Sammy have to go..Chris Gayle is avaiable for the rest of the tour,but i doubt they will call him up for the 3rd test...as for the one days i think West Indies will beat England..when players like Gayle,Bravo,Narine,Pollard and Russell join the Squad...

  • Tantra on May 26, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    No real improvement in West Indies cricket until the WICB is decimated. As far as this team is concerned,they did their part in staging a recovery. They could even lose the match now.

  • docusmc1996 on May 26, 2012, 3:54 GMT

    go windies. I hope you beat england...

  • ali bajan on May 24, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    As a West Indian fan I can see why everyone is "impressed" by the WI performances. But that is exactly what this article is about.

    As a West Indian fan I am not at all "impressed" by the coach's and captain's desire to lose...

    I can see everyone else (who are not west indian fan) laying praises on this bunch. I can not do that, because to me they are just a bunch of losers who are worse than a team that gets beat in 3 days...

    A team that gets beat in 3 days is a BAD TEAM .... This team is WORSE than bad..... They are VERY CAPABLE of WINNING ... but CHOOSE to LOSE .....

    I think I have seen enough of Gibson and Hillare's philosophy! I think it is better we TRY to win even if we lose in 3 days, we are trying to win ....

    This team that goes out there to try to lose but put on a good show is a travesty ...

    and FYI, drop chanderpaul and this team would lose in 2 days...(that is food for though as Gibson does not want Chadners in the team)...

  • Mark on May 24, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    @Dinny yes supporters in other nations might find this hard to believe but there were a good chunk of Aussie supporters who supported opposition teams especially the West Indies. Many Aussie supporters didn't like their national team very much. I think it is because of their ultra aggressive attitude and sledging tactics. However the surprising thing is these very same snarling Aussie cricketers would become the nicest most intelligent cricketers you could hope to meet once off the field, I guess out in the middle its serious business. This was especially true of Shane Warne and Glen McGrath. Everyone who has met them said the Aussie cricketers are very nice guys off the field with a deep love and knowledge of the game. Windies on field persona was more palatable to most cricket fans even to a lot of Aussie cricket fans plus the Calypso style of cricket was the most exciting in the world. Yes you are right there were many Aussies who supported the West Indies more than their own team.

  • Harsh Thakor on May 24, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    I am impressed with the West Indian resurgence in the last year after being rock bottom.They gave India a good run for their money in the sub-continent and lost a hard fought test series against the Australians.I admire their fighting spirit in the recent test at Lords.They are on the road to catching up with the best.

  • thejesusofcool on May 23, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    The team has a defeatist attitude.

    Remember Sulejman Benn being dropped because he had the wrong attitude?

    Yeh, his attitude was he wanted to win and stuff any opposition.

    Whilst players with his attitude get excluded, WI will never recover.

    This lot just don't have a nasty edge-for Christ's sake,opening after lunch on the last day when you still have a small chance of winning with MARLON SAMUELS???!!!

    Hardly Lance Gibbs is he?

    Why wasn't Roach given the ball & told to try a bouncer or two?

    See, it's all that attitude thing again.

  • j l walsh on May 23, 2012, 12:10 GMT

    what is the coach of the windies team doing?now one is telling the young batsman that they should mouve their foot how manny got out LBW.the coach was england boling he donot seem to be coaching the bowlers,they should be trying to hit top of off with seam pointing to slip or leg or seem up straight cross seam straight know one seem to blow yorkes,why?

  • danoz on July 7, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    the west indies have about 5 million people and are realitivly poor in comparrison to england and australia.the west indies doesnt have the funds of india,australia and england.

    surprisly the west indies biggest weakness is thier fast bowlers,fidel edwards and kumar roach bowl around 145km and ravi rampaul 135km and sammy 130km,none are tall like english bowlers.

    in the 1980's they had 4 bowlers around the 150km mark and joel garner who was close to 7feet.the west indies need a fast bowling acadamy on every island.

    i would set up a west indies division 2(like county championship) with carribean nations who play cricket at a low standard like belize,cuba,caymen islands,turk and caicos,bahamas,dominican republic,haiti,puetro rico and suriname.and bring games to these islands,the windward island can play in martinique,leeward islands can play in guadulope and puetro rico,guyana can play in suriname,jaimaica can play in belize and cuba.

    when they improve they can go in division 1

  • Phil Hutch on June 1, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    I have been watching West Indies team for the past decade. The selectors and management is a bunch of jokers. they keep on talking about, the team is improving. what team is improving,when the batting is good there was no bowling, now the bowling is good, they get rid of the good batting, so they must be confuse as to what they wanted, any one in the world who understand cricket, know that you can pick a windies side from the discorded players, that can easiely beat this Otis Gibbs, Sammy, and Hillier side, it a disgrace. They need to go.

  • Ken Jones on May 28, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    I would like to know why the West Indies selectors did not pick Brendon Nash to tour England? Otis Gibson and Darren Sammy have to go..Chris Gayle is avaiable for the rest of the tour,but i doubt they will call him up for the 3rd test...as for the one days i think West Indies will beat England..when players like Gayle,Bravo,Narine,Pollard and Russell join the Squad...

  • Tantra on May 26, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    No real improvement in West Indies cricket until the WICB is decimated. As far as this team is concerned,they did their part in staging a recovery. They could even lose the match now.

  • docusmc1996 on May 26, 2012, 3:54 GMT

    go windies. I hope you beat england...

  • ali bajan on May 24, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    As a West Indian fan I can see why everyone is "impressed" by the WI performances. But that is exactly what this article is about.

    As a West Indian fan I am not at all "impressed" by the coach's and captain's desire to lose...

    I can see everyone else (who are not west indian fan) laying praises on this bunch. I can not do that, because to me they are just a bunch of losers who are worse than a team that gets beat in 3 days...

    A team that gets beat in 3 days is a BAD TEAM .... This team is WORSE than bad..... They are VERY CAPABLE of WINNING ... but CHOOSE to LOSE .....

    I think I have seen enough of Gibson and Hillare's philosophy! I think it is better we TRY to win even if we lose in 3 days, we are trying to win ....

    This team that goes out there to try to lose but put on a good show is a travesty ...

    and FYI, drop chanderpaul and this team would lose in 2 days...(that is food for though as Gibson does not want Chadners in the team)...

  • Mark on May 24, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    @Dinny yes supporters in other nations might find this hard to believe but there were a good chunk of Aussie supporters who supported opposition teams especially the West Indies. Many Aussie supporters didn't like their national team very much. I think it is because of their ultra aggressive attitude and sledging tactics. However the surprising thing is these very same snarling Aussie cricketers would become the nicest most intelligent cricketers you could hope to meet once off the field, I guess out in the middle its serious business. This was especially true of Shane Warne and Glen McGrath. Everyone who has met them said the Aussie cricketers are very nice guys off the field with a deep love and knowledge of the game. Windies on field persona was more palatable to most cricket fans even to a lot of Aussie cricket fans plus the Calypso style of cricket was the most exciting in the world. Yes you are right there were many Aussies who supported the West Indies more than their own team.

  • Harsh Thakor on May 24, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    I am impressed with the West Indian resurgence in the last year after being rock bottom.They gave India a good run for their money in the sub-continent and lost a hard fought test series against the Australians.I admire their fighting spirit in the recent test at Lords.They are on the road to catching up with the best.

  • thejesusofcool on May 23, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    The team has a defeatist attitude.

    Remember Sulejman Benn being dropped because he had the wrong attitude?

    Yeh, his attitude was he wanted to win and stuff any opposition.

    Whilst players with his attitude get excluded, WI will never recover.

    This lot just don't have a nasty edge-for Christ's sake,opening after lunch on the last day when you still have a small chance of winning with MARLON SAMUELS???!!!

    Hardly Lance Gibbs is he?

    Why wasn't Roach given the ball & told to try a bouncer or two?

    See, it's all that attitude thing again.

  • j l walsh on May 23, 2012, 12:10 GMT

    what is the coach of the windies team doing?now one is telling the young batsman that they should mouve their foot how manny got out LBW.the coach was england boling he donot seem to be coaching the bowlers,they should be trying to hit top of off with seam pointing to slip or leg or seem up straight cross seam straight know one seem to blow yorkes,why?

  • Praxis on May 23, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    I am too young to have seen West Indies 70s or 80s. All I have learned are from highlights, numerous articles, YouTube videos & interviews. But seems like they just didn't beat everyone everywhere, they did it with style & played with passion. Seeing Australia dominate world cricket for the larger part of last two decades, I get the feeling WI was loved & admired more than AUS are by neutral fans. After all, it took only highlights & stats for me to be a fan of Malcolm Marshall.

  • sanjay on May 23, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    i was really surprise wathcing sammi's casual attitude when bell and cook where riding towords victory... It was like okey i fought hard and thats it I cant do anything else.. And its become too regular stuff from Sammy.. All the time saying we fought hard.. Players are learing.. we have good chance.. we have good future.. we will try our best..\ This current attitude is not worth for winning matchs..

    God someone please wake up- windies selectors.. Gayle all set... He is Free now.. For sake Of West - Indies plz keep aside all the issue's... call him up plz...

    Dear Mr Sarwan... We understand There must be worst happend arround you... i read about negative comments by X person.. But For the sake of All west indies Lovers... There prays.. Look at the eyes of the West Indies Fans who were there to Support West indies at lords... Old Seniour people desparate to see a Win....Come-back

  • Dinny on May 23, 2012, 4:12 GMT

    I am not sure about the validity of the argument that the Windies were hated in their hey day. People loved them everywhere, even in Australia. I remember that people loved watching them play, they were popular champions. They were like the Harlem Globetrotters in many ways, people in India, England, Aus were amazed at their skill sets. Michael Holding once remarked that he sometimes feels the Aussie crowds are even cheering on the Windies, this was when people were wearing Richie Richardson wide rimmed red hats.In Australia during the world series days, they were all over the TV in terms of advertising products, they were cool :)

  • stephen kissoon on May 22, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    lovely piece, don't think west indies will move up, they have been this promising since 2005 , they're not moving up at all, the main problem is their captain Sammy, if they can drop him then west indies will automatically perform better, and Michael holding should focus on Sammy being a passenger as well as shiv being selfish

  • Stos on May 22, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    Thing is, though, that they've already managed to consistently compete, and in ODIs, etc., were able to draw with Australia, while they did the same with Pakistan in tests. However, in test matches, you have to match your opponent moment-for-moment over 5 whole days, and any cracks present will be revealed and exploited. The West Indies have been a team which has been fairly rubbish for quite some time now, a team which has to build for the future because its recent past hasn't set up its present, and, especially given that it doesn't have the domestic cricket resources of, eg. England, this progress will have to take time rather than being some sort of quantum leap.

    However, this team has also got to the point of being able to fight out tests despite this, to the point where the only thing which is holding them back, even against top opposition, is these cracks, which are something which time can and will repair. All they need is a good team attitude to foster growth, which they have

  • PDTM on May 21, 2012, 20:22 GMT

    You could see the passion that Windies supporters had at Lord's when they put a decent show on the fourth day compared to the fairly passive English fans. They are a passionate, emotional people when it comes to cricket. Now if we can only get them to cut down on the noise...

  • Lourens on May 21, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    @GerryB and honorore The West Indies are not good enough to beat the bigger sides, but by being competitive they give themselves a good chance of growing into that. Allan Border's Aussie side was not the best of their time, or before, but gradually set up the scene for the 1990's and 2000's to come. There will always be a losing and a winning side, but how you loose says as much about you as how you win. But maybe you think that someone who loses a game is a loser in life. If that is so I hope for your sakes you both are the best at whatever occupation you choose, because otherwise you are a loser. Or maybe you are doing your best and learning everyday how to become better at what you do, as the Windies are attempting to do.

  • Anonymous on May 21, 2012, 17:12 GMT

    WI needs more Batsmen; why we have Deonarine and Fudadin siting there warming the seats, while the top order fails. Oh what about Sarwan and Gayle. Sammy and Otis is keeping WI from winning Games.

  • yenjvoy on May 21, 2012, 16:58 GMT

    I don't know where the hate Windies talk comes from. Seems to be an Aussie sentiment. As an Indian growing up in the Lloyd era, I remember everyone of my friends idolized the West Indian players and wanted to own a maroon cap, more so than the Indian navy cap. That Windies team was loved, everywhere except Australia and NZ probably. Can't say the same about any Aussie teams post-AB.

  • pady on May 21, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    " they don’t know how to win" - that about sums it up. They need the first series win. Then the confidence will be up. Question is - Will the selection committee leave this team alone for a few years ? What about Naraine, Gayle ? Do they have a place in this team ?

  • honore on May 21, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    u couldnt have said it better my friend...i keep saying this all the time..we need to win a few games n stop accepting this good effort rubbish. we have the talent, and experience..look to win games rather than hope teams hand them to you.. play to win, not hope for wins...im sick of it

  • GerryB on May 21, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    Do you know what is pathetic with the West Indies? Listening to the post match commentary of the captain and coach...always boil down to: we were not over run, we were competitive, there are some positives which we will take out of this match blah blah. What is the focus of this team, is it to win or be competitive, to have some positives or to win, to be not over run or to beat comprehensively the opposition.

    Fitness, discipline is one side of the coin...the other side of the coin is there need to be passion for winning and a honing of natural skills and talents into winning (killer) skills and talents. Bowling or batting to be competitive does not win matches. You must outplay your opponent which means you want to be over-competitive, better at it by a mile than they are. The West Indies team leadership in captain and coach is good to provide stability but not good enough to provide the passion, the drive, the instinct for winning.

  • Tim on May 21, 2012, 12:37 GMT

    It's frustrating and a little patronising to have other teams supporters want you to do well but the West Indies have to understand that it's a long process to recovery in world cricket. There's no quick fix. Consistency of team selection is a critical part of it, as is application and dedication. I am old enough to remember the Windies of the 70s and 80s and I look back on it far more fondly than I saw it at the time. They were talented for sure, but also ruthless. We may never see their like again but a strong West Indies is vital for world cricket.

  • Nico on May 21, 2012, 9:34 GMT

    It would also be nice if every article about West Indies now wasn't so patronising. But we live in hope.

  • DUnky Craig on May 21, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    I remember those days from 70's and 80's and the West Indies were my second favorite team even then. The style and passion they played with made them so good to watch none of England's timidness. Viv Richards and Malcolm Marshall were legends and inspired me along with Sir Ian Botham.

  • Jittu on May 21, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    Gayle at 3 and Sunil Narine and jerome Taylor in the side, and they could be more than useful. Roach is good but the support bowlers are just lacking venom for me.

  • Tom on May 21, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    Nice piece. Windies have always been my second favourite team, but as a South African I didn't get to see them play when they were in total domination. Here's hoping they put one over on the Olde Enemy. Regardless of the result they have played well and hopefully learnt a bit.

  • syed on May 21, 2012, 7:31 GMT

    well i love to see WI playing test, coz they are the only team playing with lot of fun in the field despite of five day long heat. They have enough power to fight, its only just a matter of time that they have to get the edge towards the finish for the victory. After all the great KING LARA is from WI so this generation knows how to come back to form and show who they are...come on guys learn from the legends of WI and fight for the victory and get the rank 1 in test matches... I WISH ALL THE BEST for the upcoming LEGENDS of WI..

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  • syed on May 21, 2012, 7:31 GMT

    well i love to see WI playing test, coz they are the only team playing with lot of fun in the field despite of five day long heat. They have enough power to fight, its only just a matter of time that they have to get the edge towards the finish for the victory. After all the great KING LARA is from WI so this generation knows how to come back to form and show who they are...come on guys learn from the legends of WI and fight for the victory and get the rank 1 in test matches... I WISH ALL THE BEST for the upcoming LEGENDS of WI..

  • Tom on May 21, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    Nice piece. Windies have always been my second favourite team, but as a South African I didn't get to see them play when they were in total domination. Here's hoping they put one over on the Olde Enemy. Regardless of the result they have played well and hopefully learnt a bit.

  • Jittu on May 21, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    Gayle at 3 and Sunil Narine and jerome Taylor in the side, and they could be more than useful. Roach is good but the support bowlers are just lacking venom for me.

  • DUnky Craig on May 21, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    I remember those days from 70's and 80's and the West Indies were my second favorite team even then. The style and passion they played with made them so good to watch none of England's timidness. Viv Richards and Malcolm Marshall were legends and inspired me along with Sir Ian Botham.

  • Nico on May 21, 2012, 9:34 GMT

    It would also be nice if every article about West Indies now wasn't so patronising. But we live in hope.

  • Tim on May 21, 2012, 12:37 GMT

    It's frustrating and a little patronising to have other teams supporters want you to do well but the West Indies have to understand that it's a long process to recovery in world cricket. There's no quick fix. Consistency of team selection is a critical part of it, as is application and dedication. I am old enough to remember the Windies of the 70s and 80s and I look back on it far more fondly than I saw it at the time. They were talented for sure, but also ruthless. We may never see their like again but a strong West Indies is vital for world cricket.

  • GerryB on May 21, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    Do you know what is pathetic with the West Indies? Listening to the post match commentary of the captain and coach...always boil down to: we were not over run, we were competitive, there are some positives which we will take out of this match blah blah. What is the focus of this team, is it to win or be competitive, to have some positives or to win, to be not over run or to beat comprehensively the opposition.

    Fitness, discipline is one side of the coin...the other side of the coin is there need to be passion for winning and a honing of natural skills and talents into winning (killer) skills and talents. Bowling or batting to be competitive does not win matches. You must outplay your opponent which means you want to be over-competitive, better at it by a mile than they are. The West Indies team leadership in captain and coach is good to provide stability but not good enough to provide the passion, the drive, the instinct for winning.

  • honore on May 21, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    u couldnt have said it better my friend...i keep saying this all the time..we need to win a few games n stop accepting this good effort rubbish. we have the talent, and experience..look to win games rather than hope teams hand them to you.. play to win, not hope for wins...im sick of it

  • pady on May 21, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    " they don’t know how to win" - that about sums it up. They need the first series win. Then the confidence will be up. Question is - Will the selection committee leave this team alone for a few years ? What about Naraine, Gayle ? Do they have a place in this team ?

  • yenjvoy on May 21, 2012, 16:58 GMT

    I don't know where the hate Windies talk comes from. Seems to be an Aussie sentiment. As an Indian growing up in the Lloyd era, I remember everyone of my friends idolized the West Indian players and wanted to own a maroon cap, more so than the Indian navy cap. That Windies team was loved, everywhere except Australia and NZ probably. Can't say the same about any Aussie teams post-AB.