England v West Indies, 1st Test, Lord's, 2nd day May 18, 2012

Where are West Indies' heroes?

The side taking part at Lord's has men to admire but not players to revere
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There was something quite sad about the second day at Lord's, a sense of resignation to the facts. England's runs came at a decent rate and without alarm. In part this was due to organised batting but mainly it was because West Indies were not much good with the ball. If that appears unkind, it is not to question the players' commitment. Rather it is to say that the flair which once made West Indies both such an attraction and a threat was nowhere in sight.

The selection of a fourth seamer in place of the in-form offspinner Shane Shillingford was crass. Even in the glory days of four fast bowlers, Roger Harper might have got a game on a surface like this. The mitigation is that this Lord's pitch is drier and slower than predicted but five days is a long time without the variety of a competent slow bowler. Shillingford's ten-wicket bag against Australia in Dominica counted for nothing it seems. Generally, it is wiser to pick teams on the quality of the players not a suspicion of the pitches.

During the lunch break, the shrill of a mobile phone startled the occupants of the media centre lift. IPL music rang out and immediately those of us squeezed into the tiny space began to reflect on the West Indians who are absent at Lord's. Chris Gayle is the obvious one. Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine are the others at the IPL. Ramnaresh Sarwan is playing for Leicestershire, for heaven's sake. Jerome Taylor is injured. Seven good cricketers there. Three are shoo-ins, the rest are thereabouts. The verdict in the lift was that West Indies are better off with them than without them.

Clearly this is not the view of the WICB and selectors. The ongoing battle with Gayle does neither party any service, despite the recent agreement for him to play in the one-day series against England. Gayle should treat the game that has made his name with more respect and the board should find a way to harness his talent. Briefly when he was captain, the Jamaican seemed settled, batting with due care and attention, sparkling in the field and bowling useful offbreaks: a wonderful cricketer doing justice to himself and his people. Then the board offered him a contract that he refused and, reasonably, they said he could hardly be captain if he wasn't prepared to commit. In stepped T20 and the age of the mercenary and so began the uneasy and ultimately irreconcilable relationship between the Caribbean's best cricketer and those who employ him.

Well it's time to sort it out. And not just Gayle either, all the others and particularly Sarwan. Cricket needs West Indies for these wonderful islands hold the game in their soul. No other cricketers in the world put the IPL before Test matches for their country. Both the Board and the players are selling the game short. They simply have to find a way through the mess. The ICC could begin the process by scheduling a window for the IPL each year and continue it by investing in the Caribbean. It's all very well taking the game to China but let's get it fixed where the culture already exists.

In the meantime, Darren Sammy has done darn good job with limited resources. He doubtless knows that he wouldn't get in the best available team but he battles on, making something of not much and willing the young talent around him to get the best from themselves. Friday was hard because the pitch was slow and easy and the ball refused to swing. Fidel Edwards has lost the fierce pace of his youth and Kemar Roach, though honest enough, was subdued by the surface. After these two it is humdrum stuff. Sammy hustles in but needs something in the pitch and the new man, Shannon Gabriel, looks exactly that. In desperation, Marlon Samuels bowled some offbreaks that were barely half as good as Gayle's and, guess what, the variety he offered claimed the prize wicket of Kevin Pietersen.

What we don't want is to start patronising West Indies cricket. Yes, there is some spirit there and, of late, a decent Australia side were given a good run. But the raw truth is that West Indies are way below an acceptable standard and the fault lies with a few cricketers and a stubborn board. If the situation is allowed to drift, it will continue to infect the game at all levels back at home. Young cricketers need inspiration from heroes. They need to rejoice in stirring deeds that draw them to watch and play the game of their own volition. The side on the field at Lord's has men to admire but not players to revere. It is time to bring them in from the cold.

Former Hampshire batsman Mark Nicholas is the host of Channel 9's cricket coverage

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • LabMan on May 21, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    I do agree with Mark Nicholas though. I think you should put country above self. I however would spare a thought for Mr Sunil Narine. This is a young man with an abundance of talent. But he has the unfortunate circumstance of being in the west indies where, unlike the other large territories, the opportunities to make a decent living from his craft locally is limited. So i could understand him grabbing the opportunity now to make some money before he is established on the international scene. When he does get the opportunity though I expect a different attitude. (COUNTRY ABOVE SELF)

  • LabMan on May 21, 2012, 17:09 GMT

    I agree with Honey-Lotion, except to say that the team could use the service of an experience player at the top along with Chanderpaul in the middle. That is why i am in full support of Gayle's return. Just hoping he falls in line with the new culture as Sammy indicated. I think he should be picked considered for the second test.

  • AKS286 on May 21, 2012, 11:54 GMT

    yes bro my comments are harsh but not premature. i also feel bad but the truth is WI does not suit to the test cricket means not eligible for test cricket. if eng loss to WI it means WI doesn't beat eng, it means eng played very poor cricket. just imagine what will happen if shivy retires after 2-3 yrs.

  • honey-lotion on May 21, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    Great Article Nicolas. Having said that, i'm a business leader. I know for fact that a talented boy with less heart is no good than an average talent with a heart and perspiration. I think, Sammy has done a wonderful job. The boys took the opportunity to show character. The board should stick to this team and nurture them and not repeat the mistake they did with Gayle. It may sound unfair to Gayle and company as they 'might be' fighting for a good cause (I don't know). But you can see the winner. This half chicken team of WI is doing better than the All star team because of the HEART they have collectively which they nurtured instinctively as an underdog to make a point.

  • mg0767 on May 20, 2012, 21:08 GMT

    Admirable performance from West Indies YES! The ball is England's court. I mean who wants to be beaten by an underdog. The pressure is on them now. I heard Mike Holding say that the West Indies will not be more competitive with Gayle, Sarwan, Dwayne Bravo as he said it was the same guys who played in the past and got shutdown by England. However, the last paragraph of this article actually draws on England being shut out for 51 back in 2009 and having 5 of the current top 7 playing in that match back then. They need to include these guys because it is their experience that matters and can help the young players coming in to have some yardstick to measure up to and learn.

  • JG2704 on May 20, 2012, 19:44 GMT

    @Edgar 'Rodio' Stone on (May 20 2012, 00:15 AM GMT) You're right , I don't follow WI 1st class cricket. I did put "I'm not sure how much longer fmt cricket they have played in that time" since their last tests. 2 other things you'd have to bear in mind is weather conditions and the guy's mindset. Last series he played in Eng he scored 28/0/19/54 - I make that an average of just over 25. Now it could be that Gayle could carry his IPL form into the test arena but I have my doubts. It's certainly not nailed on he's score big in tests in Eng.

  • JG2704 on May 20, 2012, 19:44 GMT

    @Giridharan Jagannathan on (May 20 2012, 04:41 AM GMT) the other solution is that the players could do a bit of both as the Aus players and KP did?

  • JG2704 on May 20, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    @Giridharan Jagannathan on (May 20 2012, 04:41 AM GMT) the other solution is that the players could do a bit of both as the Aus players and KP did?

  • JG2704 on May 20, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    @AKS286 on (May 20 2012, 08:37 AM GMT) WI have played/fought really well today and still have a realistic chance of winning tomorrow. Your comms are harsh and very premature.

  • JG2704 on May 20, 2012, 19:12 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster on (May 20 2012, 03:45 AM GMT) Not a shallow cricket fan at all then. So basically you are saying that you only like IPL ? And then you expect others to take your posts on threads relating to tests seriously?

  • LabMan on May 21, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    I do agree with Mark Nicholas though. I think you should put country above self. I however would spare a thought for Mr Sunil Narine. This is a young man with an abundance of talent. But he has the unfortunate circumstance of being in the west indies where, unlike the other large territories, the opportunities to make a decent living from his craft locally is limited. So i could understand him grabbing the opportunity now to make some money before he is established on the international scene. When he does get the opportunity though I expect a different attitude. (COUNTRY ABOVE SELF)

  • LabMan on May 21, 2012, 17:09 GMT

    I agree with Honey-Lotion, except to say that the team could use the service of an experience player at the top along with Chanderpaul in the middle. That is why i am in full support of Gayle's return. Just hoping he falls in line with the new culture as Sammy indicated. I think he should be picked considered for the second test.

  • AKS286 on May 21, 2012, 11:54 GMT

    yes bro my comments are harsh but not premature. i also feel bad but the truth is WI does not suit to the test cricket means not eligible for test cricket. if eng loss to WI it means WI doesn't beat eng, it means eng played very poor cricket. just imagine what will happen if shivy retires after 2-3 yrs.

  • honey-lotion on May 21, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    Great Article Nicolas. Having said that, i'm a business leader. I know for fact that a talented boy with less heart is no good than an average talent with a heart and perspiration. I think, Sammy has done a wonderful job. The boys took the opportunity to show character. The board should stick to this team and nurture them and not repeat the mistake they did with Gayle. It may sound unfair to Gayle and company as they 'might be' fighting for a good cause (I don't know). But you can see the winner. This half chicken team of WI is doing better than the All star team because of the HEART they have collectively which they nurtured instinctively as an underdog to make a point.

  • mg0767 on May 20, 2012, 21:08 GMT

    Admirable performance from West Indies YES! The ball is England's court. I mean who wants to be beaten by an underdog. The pressure is on them now. I heard Mike Holding say that the West Indies will not be more competitive with Gayle, Sarwan, Dwayne Bravo as he said it was the same guys who played in the past and got shutdown by England. However, the last paragraph of this article actually draws on England being shut out for 51 back in 2009 and having 5 of the current top 7 playing in that match back then. They need to include these guys because it is their experience that matters and can help the young players coming in to have some yardstick to measure up to and learn.

  • JG2704 on May 20, 2012, 19:44 GMT

    @Edgar 'Rodio' Stone on (May 20 2012, 00:15 AM GMT) You're right , I don't follow WI 1st class cricket. I did put "I'm not sure how much longer fmt cricket they have played in that time" since their last tests. 2 other things you'd have to bear in mind is weather conditions and the guy's mindset. Last series he played in Eng he scored 28/0/19/54 - I make that an average of just over 25. Now it could be that Gayle could carry his IPL form into the test arena but I have my doubts. It's certainly not nailed on he's score big in tests in Eng.

  • JG2704 on May 20, 2012, 19:44 GMT

    @Giridharan Jagannathan on (May 20 2012, 04:41 AM GMT) the other solution is that the players could do a bit of both as the Aus players and KP did?

  • JG2704 on May 20, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    @Giridharan Jagannathan on (May 20 2012, 04:41 AM GMT) the other solution is that the players could do a bit of both as the Aus players and KP did?

  • JG2704 on May 20, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    @AKS286 on (May 20 2012, 08:37 AM GMT) WI have played/fought really well today and still have a realistic chance of winning tomorrow. Your comms are harsh and very premature.

  • JG2704 on May 20, 2012, 19:12 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster on (May 20 2012, 03:45 AM GMT) Not a shallow cricket fan at all then. So basically you are saying that you only like IPL ? And then you expect others to take your posts on threads relating to tests seriously?

  • AKS286 on May 20, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    @jafarkhan i understand ur sentiments but for a team like this not possible to climb on rank table.after the retirement of experienced player every team disbalances for a short time but WI suffering from just after the WILLS WORLD CUP still not recovered. the problem is management and players attitude. you never found the fighting attitude except of 1-2 players.gayle,pollard, bravo, russell are flop batsmen believe it WI is the worst team even in the T20. below to irish team in t20 the rank is 9.

  • AKS286 on May 20, 2012, 18:20 GMT

    WI never looks elible for test playing countries. WI must play in the intercontinental matches. i guarantee irish, dutch, namibia is a very tough contender for WI. ohh i wonder Eng did't do any foolishness to chase 191.

  • jafarkhan on May 20, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    Abously WI's having more than enough talent in cricket .. if they pick the players from IPL which is playing for differnt franices like Sunil Nrain, KKR , Bravo CSK, Gayl RCB , Smmions in PWI and lots of other WI cricket should play now for WI in England . i want to see WI on top of table in ODI's and Test and they are too good in T20 so please do some thing about WI cricket and give reward to them (Cricketers)

  • u.moral on May 20, 2012, 15:49 GMT

    West Indian team selection is very irritating...Darren Sammy is badly ruining the balance of the playing 11. I am not saying drop him, he's been a good captain. They can just drop one of the openers and pick Russell instead. I m sure hell get more runs than either Powell or Barath. Besides Russell will strengthen the bowling and bring depth to the batting. In addition, bring back Gayle and SUNIL NARINE and u have a winning combination...also dont ignore Shillingford...Russell can allow Sammy play both NARINE & Shillingford. So go for Russell :)

  • JG2704 on May 20, 2012, 14:23 GMT

    @AKS286 on (May 20 2012, 10:15 AM GMT If WI play like they have done so far today - currently 256-5 - they are a match for anyone and would comfortably beat the team you listed , but you are right that WI weren't doing any better when they had those players in their side

  • MrPontingToYou on May 20, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    @ rahul sai, Did you bother looking at the stats on Pollard's first class batting record, and comparing them to Johnson's and Broad's before you posted?

  • balajik1968 on May 20, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    I don't really know what's going on in the WICB, but they are partly to blame for the players prefering IPL. If they had not given the NOC, none of these guys would be playing in the IPL. Player turnover has been savage in the West Indies over the last 2 decades. Player management seems to be lacking. When things are as bad as this, why should'nt the players build a nest egg for life post-retirement. While I don't like the IPL, I can't blame these guys for trying to secure their future.

  • funkyandy on May 20, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    Not just West Indies Mark! Last year, Gautam Gambhir played all the World Cup matches, then played in the IPL (with a suspected injury) and as soon as it finished - he reports himself as injured and missed the test matches in West Indies!! WI players have to deal with a WICB filled with muppets, so cant blame them for taking the money. Gambhir has no such excuse!

  • on May 20, 2012, 11:20 GMT

    Even with 7 players absent, Sammy would not be selected if he was not the captain. It's that simple. Shillingford lost out because Sammy is the captain and cannot be dropped. If the selectors think he can bat well, he needs to bat regularly at no 6 and avg above 35 so he can come in as an allrounder. Otherwise Dwayne Bravo is a better batsman and a better bowler than Samuels. Gabriel has done well. The top 3 in the batting order are the weakest in the world. It makes no sense to leave out Gayle & Sarwan. Even Simmons is better. Barath & Powell are the weakest opening pair WI has ever had in its cricketing history. They both average below 25 and that proves it.

  • AKS286 on May 20, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    WI Can't beat THIS IN ANY PITCH- WTS PORTERFIELD(CAP), P.STIRLING, SF BERGUR, TEN DOESTCHE, CG WILLIAMS, N'O BRIEN(wk), K'O BRIEN, C.VILJOEN, I.DAWLATZAI, DOCKRELL/RM HAQ, RANKIN, M. BUKHARI

  • AKS286 on May 20, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    problem with fans are this- whichever player is not playing and team was lost we go for them like if he is in the team the result will this, Mr X batsman is a good player of spinner, mr. y is the good player of fast bowling, mr.z has the ability to hang for 2 days. mr. a can swing the bowl in this pitch, mr b can do blaa blaa ? oh my goodness when gayle, sarwan, nash,bravo was in the team then ON THAT TIME WI WERE A LOOSING TEAM SAME RESULTS ARE COMING EVEN LARA's last 6 yrs with the team except of very few matches WI & LARA ARE LOOSERS.

  • JG2704 on May 20, 2012, 9:29 GMT

    @satspeare on (May 19 2012, 22:21 PM GMT) - Not necessarily re double standards. There is such a thing called loyalty whether it be on a personal level (as a friend/partner) or on a business level.1- It's the cricketer's choice whether he wants to play IPL or not. Now re Gayle,Bravo,Narine (which are the main 3 names which are being banded about) it also depends on WI cricket board. Now if the WICB have indicated that they are interested in picking these players then it is up to these players whether they want to chose wealth over playing for their country.If WICB have made no indication of considering these players for selection then it's a no brainer for the players.However our KP and guys like Clarke, Watson,M Hussey , Hilf etc have all proven that you can have the best of both worlds by putting their country first but still find time for IPL. If these 3 are purely ignoring WI for IPL then that's up to them but if so they can't expect the support of their countrymen

  • JG2704 on May 20, 2012, 9:18 GMT

    @Iain Murray on (May 19 2012, 20:39 PM GMT) You've already posted this before and Sirviv and I answered your point. If you are going to ignore our comms and not going to engage further on the subject then please put it to bed

  • on May 20, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    Gayle is in the calibre of Gilchrist, Shewag and Jeyasurya, if these guys can win worldcup to their countries why not gayle. Srilanka, India and Aus has reached atleast two worldcup finals durig their tenure. Gayle needs support from his teammates. it would be unfair to rate him below that. article writers should stop teaching him what todo and what not do. lets not take manners session here.

  • JG2704 on May 20, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    @sachin_champ on (May 19 2012, 20:17 PM GMT) You're right. IPL made these unknowns into living legends. SA fans were unsure of Steyn and AB until they played IPL and Gilchrist has only become a worldwide name since he played IPL

  • AKS286 on May 20, 2012, 9:01 GMT

    about WI bowling after walsh, ambrose, bishop, WI have another good combination but not managed like F.Rose, dillon, N. Mclean, R. king, cuffy, lawson, collymore, collins, taylor, ramnarine, mcgarell, allrounder like banks. shocking batsmen who are responsible for ruining the batting are sherwin campbell , x.marshall,r. hinds, ganga, darren bravo, barath falls in same category.

  • AKS286 on May 20, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    WI top 4 are rubbish. plz don't consider stats as all user often do. darren bravo compare to lara this is the most goof thing i ever heard. if gayle , bravo, deonarine will join the team then the result will SAME nothing changed. but frankly WI is not eligible to play test cricket it sounds bad but its true.WI have to play intercontinental cup with irish, namibia, dutch teams sure it is again tough for them. what will happen if shivy retires. OHH my god.

  • on May 20, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    Listening to Hillaire at the tea break with Gower was quite revealing indeed. He claims win dies are now lasting longer than 3 days...thanks to whom? a man they wanted to drop. His arrogance as the 'decision maker' wreaks. From his tone, it is obvious that he does not want Gayle and the others around since he claims that on the last tour, these were present and we still lost. It seems that in his opinion, the team is doing better and those players are the past. Maybe it is time the ICC steps in and tries to mediate the situation the way FIFA stepped into CONCAF because the world, let alone the Windian public, deserve to see the likes of Gayle and Narine and Sarwan and the elder Bravo among others representing us instead of good blokes who tow the Board's line and try hard but are obviously out of their league. Remember top players have that mean streak in them....look at Viv or Ambi or Holding kicking down the stumps or Lara the 'antagonist' against Aussie. That's why they win.

  • TheMeanMachine on May 20, 2012, 6:41 GMT

    I think out of that lot, Gayle is the only shoo-in in the current scenario. Not picking up Shillingford is a slap on his face even after performing so well in the previous series and also in the warm up game

  • on May 20, 2012, 5:32 GMT

    Its the ICC who has created double standards ; I don't see India playing any Test Cricket or any other form of international cricket during IPL , why then any other country should ? But then again county cricket used to be played for eons without any fuss . I think ICC should mandate a law that makes a player of certain national to make himself available for international duty before any league cricket . In that way organizers should know what their options are and act accordingly .

  • on May 20, 2012, 4:41 GMT

    Can we be sure that the former greats would have chosen country over IPL? There was no IPL then...and the former greats with all due respect might have been good not great had they been playing today. Why? Batsmen have no fear with protective gear. So it is wrong to expect WI to be anything else. The ICC should provide a window for IPL which I feel should be shorter by a week to 10 days. The start of the English cricket season could be adjusted a bit. Test cricket and ODI is fine but players will always want easier money. If the current WI players were more talented they would have chosen IPL. In and SL players too prefer the IPL but don't show it. NZ and Pak players would too. Only Eng Aus and SA might cling to Tests. I personally love the Aus tri series with Bill Lawry screaming away. I love test matches and jumped in joy when the Chennai match ended in a tie. I wanted a tie not an Indian win. The times change as in every walk of life. If only Eng vs WI had stared on 1 June! Sigh :(

  • Cpt.Meanster on May 20, 2012, 3:45 GMT

    Test cricket is a waste of time. Thank God I don't enjoy it. Thank God for Christopher Henry Gayle for remaining sane and choosing to make a living out by playing THE format of cricket's future - T20 ! I am a proud T20 fan. Although I should admit I am against international T20. I can understand why some WI players are not in England right now playing the Lords test. WI cricket is in shambles. The WICB doesn't give peanuts to the self respect of key players. There is a lot of bad blood between players and board officials. Gayle and co. have done what I would have done - dig out a living in a tough unforgiving world. They are just skillful employees selling themselves to potential employers in return for incentives and pay. Isn't that what ALL of us do ?

  • on May 20, 2012, 1:14 GMT

    marlon samuels has been out bof form and he still gets pick ahead ofn inform players (deonarine and shane) sammy does not have a place on the tean much less the captiancy the players that are in trhe IPL does not have a contract with the WICB os they have all the right to go where they are wanted Wi need these players biut where will they fit it Sammy has to be first on the list to get the axe along with marlon

  • on May 20, 2012, 0:15 GMT

    @JG2704: Clearly yuh dont follow first class cricket but Jamaica won that 4-day tourney and Gayle made a match winning 150+ runs in the lone match he played. He can play any format. You need to realize this. He has even showed this same patience in T20 and keeps making big scores.

  • satspeare on May 19, 2012, 22:21 GMT

    @u all, It is a double standard to put down the players for choosing to play IPL. We do the same sort of thing. If offered a higher paying job or position, very few of us will refuse. Is it reasonable to require the "boys" who have replaced the "men" to learn and tweek their skills at first class level also? How could these players perform better at test level when they have NOT outperform at first class , the ones they are replacing in the test team?? WICB and Gibson has label Sarwan "unfit" (FOR THEM)but he is playing in an english club. Label Gayle as devisive yet he plays among many other talented players without any negative influences. Somehow only WI dressing room will be affected negatively by these guys- why don't those who will be bothered just leave? Nash had a very good local season - not selected, of to English club. Deonarine had a decent series and rewarded (AS PROMISED)- dropped for the great Samuels. Our management have assured us that we don't NEED the best players.

  • Mrallrounder on May 19, 2012, 21:49 GMT

    Not sure some of the players left out would make a difference to the current test team with the exception of Gayle and possibly Sarwan. Players like Dwayne Bravo, Russell, Pollard are short format players. West Indies need to keeping working on the basics and keep concentration and consistency up throughout games and their results will improve.

  • on May 19, 2012, 20:39 GMT

    It is a bit tedious seeing the West Indies coming here every other year, even Australia only come here every 4 years. Also, why do NZ hardly ever get to tour WI?

    P.S I would seriously like WI to win this series.

  • on May 19, 2012, 20:36 GMT

    Where are the great quicks-from Wes Hall to Walsh-over 40 years of brilliance and bowling dominance.Watching Umesh Yadav clocking over 150 kms and thinking how much quicker Patrick Patterson was than him puts things into perspective.The rot has to stop.Galyle,Narain and Sarwan have to be brought into the fold-make it happen!

  • shre91 on May 19, 2012, 20:29 GMT

    i think the west indian players have shown their ability...except for 1 bad hour in day they dominated the english side and at the end of day concentration was the major difference between the teams and not the talent...

  • sachin_champ on May 19, 2012, 20:17 GMT

    @ JG2704 on (May 19 2012, 08:13 AM GMT): you have heard ... I have seen dude . Players like AB , Gayle , Dale , Gilli and many more always got respect .

  • Yagga_Rowe on May 19, 2012, 20:12 GMT

    Excellent article! Very well balanced indeed! It is heartbreaking to see that our best talent in the West Indies is absent and that we just can't get in right at the Board, coach, selection, etc level. Our best team would be: 1.Gayle 2.Barath 3.Sarwan 4.Samuels 5.Chanderpaul 6.Ramdin (C) 7.Dwayne Bravo 8.Narine 9.Richardson 10.Rampaul 11. Roach. Reserves are Darren Bravo, Shillingford, Sheldon Cottrell, Deonarine. Hopefully, we'll get it right soon!

  • tongue on May 19, 2012, 19:52 GMT

    Does Mark Nicholas know what he is talking about? Shannon Gabriel got three wickets in the first inning. Gave him the new ball and he will do wonders.

  • JG2704 on May 19, 2012, 19:46 GMT

    @SirViv1973 on (May 19 2012, 12:32 PM GMT) I think re Gayle and Bravo - neither have played any test cricket for over a year. I'm not sure how much longer fmt cricket they have played in that time.My guess is that both would struggle to adapt with the bat. Tjsimonsen hit the nail on the head with Gayle and his attitude and if he is not prepared to dig in for all his talent he'd be of little use. I honestly think he's more likely to get a series of low scores than a big one. I think Sarwan is probably a bigger miss. Narine is an unknown - he could be brilliant but he could also be found wanting. As for Pollard - I actually find it really funny how folk think he would make a huge difference to the test side. He's dangerous in the shorter forms but hardly Mr consistent there either - check his stats

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on May 19, 2012, 19:34 GMT

    @shanmuga sigamani-- even the greats of modern cricket like dravid and ponting respect their country and the board.. your 'best player in world' is happy doing his 20 over stints , 'hey why bother 5 days hard work for my country when i could earn twice playing for some rich guy's club' seems to be his motto , well that's his personal decision but please stop making a hero out of that guy

  • JG2704 on May 19, 2012, 19:32 GMT

    @Iain Murray on (May 19 2012, 12:52 PM GMT) You're absolutely right there. England are petrified of NZ. So much so that we've arranged a oft touch series vs SA instead

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on May 19, 2012, 19:26 GMT

    @shanmuga sigamani---- "gayle will become the best cricketer in the world" , are you kidding man ? and what exactly is 'good cricket' according to you ? IPL is just a domestic T20 tournament , just because it has lot of money pumped into it and some over the top non sense commentary and power hitting on flat tracks nobody considers it the jewel of cricket or whatever... am an Indian but i cant stand IPL for more than 15 overs , it kind of saturate me

  • toxic1007 on May 19, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    Great and well balance article, but how can the general CARIBBEAN and world wide West Indies cricket lover put pressure on the WICB/Selectors or their sole sponsor Digicel to make the necessary change to better West Indies cricket. I propose get ride of the selection panel and have the various cricket board of WI propose which player deserve to be consider for selection base on performance not on loyalty to the WICB members

  • on May 19, 2012, 17:07 GMT

    Shanmugha, just to clarify your concept. Gayle is Gayle because of WI not due to a petty IPL tournament. The concept here, that your tiny mind finds abstruse, is that test cricket should always be the top most priority.

  • AMOR on May 19, 2012, 16:18 GMT

    Great article like many before but still the same result. Those names that will improve the West Indies have to bow to the Lords. Look at the improve improve now 69-4 with Bravo the up and coming leaving the ball alone, that did not turn in or out and got bowled. How sad is the West Indies as I predicted Whitewash again. But threy came close. losing in 4 days instead of 3. great improvement. HA! HA!

  • on May 19, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    IPL is a jewel in indian cricket. People love it. rather than taking positives lets not whine test..oh...test..ohoh. IPL will take club cricket to next level. Other day a gentlemen from Pakistan said lets checkmate indian board with chinese money power. Now this man here also talks China. Stop talking politics.start talking cricket. keep your envy at home.nobody understands politics here. you people keep this yourself. Gayle is turning in to best cricketer in shorter format. He is very consisent in IPL. Iooks like he will become one of the best cricketer in world. writers should stop teaching good cricketers lets enjoy them.

  • SoLucien on May 19, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    Its a good thing that the only sporting team in the caribbean that comes under the umbrella of CARICOM is the West Indian cricket team. The insularity, stubborness and highmindedness exhibited by all parties concernedis going to be final nail in the coffin of the sport i have come to love so much. I shudder at the thought that caribbean atlethics, netball and football et al would ever come under the type of administration by the current WICB administrators. 17 years is a long time to be a loser! We have only beaten two mediocre sides 17 years of test cricket. We need to put our differences aside and stop making excuses and defending all forms of slackness! I hope the West Indies does well in England but i doubt they will, WI cricket feels like loving despite the fact that you know she is bad for my health.. LOL

  • on May 19, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    IPL is a jewel in indian cricket. People love it. rather than taking positives lets not whine test..oh...test..ohoh. IPL will take club cricket to next level. Other day a gentlemen from Pakistan said lets checkmate indian board with chinese money power. Now this man here also talks China. Stop talking politics.start talking cricket. keep your envy at home.nobody understands politics here. you gang keep this yourself. Gayle is turning in to best cricketer in shorter format. He is very consisent in IPL. Iooks like he will become one of the best cricketer in world. writers should stop teaching good cricketers lets enjoy them.

  • on May 19, 2012, 14:43 GMT

    This is what the West Indies test team should look like. 1 Gayle, 2 Barath, 3 Sarwan, 4 Daren Bravo, 5 Shiv 6 Deonarine 7 Ramdin 8 Dwayne Bravo 9 Sunil Narine 10 Roach 11 Rampaul.

  • SirViv1973 on May 19, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    Oh and also Iain Murray, NZL are currently behind WI in the test Rankings so I don't really think you can say they are a much better team.

  • SirViv1973 on May 19, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    @Iain Murray, Answer to your question is quite simple and there is no favoritism. The series In 2009 was not part of CFTP. Eng were scheduled to play Zim but because they were not playing test cricket and also because the ECB did not want to endorse the Mugabi regime they had to look elsewhere for opposition. They had initially agreed to play SRL, but they could not guarantee their best players would tour due to IPL commitments so WI then stepped in.

  • on May 19, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    Can somebody please explain why the ECB is showing favouritism towards the West Indies? This is the 3rd time they've played a test series here in the last 5 years. New Zealand are a far better side, but have only played here 3 times in the last 13 years. Maybe the ECB are doing it on purpose to inflate England's stats....

  • SirViv1973 on May 19, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    @AussieGreek, Rampaul has a niggle and wasn' t fit to play, I would imagine we will see him at some stage during the series.

  • SirViv1973 on May 19, 2012, 12:37 GMT

    Further to my previous I would also say the squad would be stronger with Sarwan in it. Kirk Edwards has had a great start to his test career and I really hope he goes on to be a star in the test arena but he does seem to be struggling in Eng conditions so having the option to possibly bring RS in would be a welcome one.

  • SirViv1973 on May 19, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    @JG2704, I agree with you to a certain extent regarding the missing players making a difference in this test, but I think the aim of the article is more to do with WI for several reasons, not being able to field their best team. lets be honest the team overall would be stronger if CG opened with Barath. DW Bravo's batting record isn't great but he has played about the same amount of games as Samuels and his ave is better and he is a far more effective bowler having him bat at 6 would allow WI to play a specialist spinner whether it would be SN or SS and still play 4 seamers. In terms of Pollard we just don't know how effective he would be as he has never played tests, 18 mths ago noone would have thought Warner could play tests but hes done pretty well so far. I also don't think its fair to judge Russel on one test, personally I think hes at least as good a bowler as Sammy and a better batsman I think he could do a decent job at 7 with DR then at 8 would strengthen the batting.

  • on May 19, 2012, 11:28 GMT

    Some good points but I have to disagre on Sarwan, he no longer has anything to offer WI cricket. For a long time he has been that way and if they bring him back he will just be a bad influence on the youngsters. Gayle they should try and salvage and get Narine into the team. Pollard and Russel are not test cricketers.

  • on May 19, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    The solution is to place IPL exactly where it belongs... FOURTH CLASS CRICKET. There is no way that a pro footballers club contract will ever prevent a national call. give IPL a window and BPL and all the other PLs deserve one too. The ICC should never let this mockery of cricket take over. or we may as well lenghten the pitch and play cricket baseball style

  • nulla on May 19, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    For all the Gayle supporters, read tjsimonsen's comments & absorb what a self indulgent brat Gayle is. Yes, he is fortunate to make money in the shorter format & more power to him for this. But he is worried he looks bad for what he has said & , like the spoilt child, it's somebody elses fault. If he can't commit, just retire from the longer version but get over looking like the mercenary he is. Interesting also how the older Bravo pulls a heart string every time the longer version of the game is scheduled. Rightly or not, the WICB are showing the game is greater than the individual & this is something the bling merchants can't handle.

  • on May 19, 2012, 10:07 GMT

    I hear Michael Holding said Jerome Taylor is not injured he is not playing cricket he has basiclly gave up because of no respect for him Sarwan is the same way i say get rid of these people like Hailleree and pick former players to be selectors they must do something now also please former players get coaching I see Viv is upset i was at Lords Monday was impressed with West Indies Batting but yet again Chanderpaul needs to start farming the strike when the tail gets in. On the Postive side hopefully Narine and all rusell Dwayne Bravo and Gayle will be back for the West Indies Side

  • sks007 on May 19, 2012, 9:39 GMT

    I quiet agree with Mark. Gayle , Sarwan , Dwayne Bravo, Pollard , naraine would have defenitely added lot of value and sterengthed the WI side. It is High Time thw WICB sorted things out for the sake of WI cricket.

  • creekeetman on May 19, 2012, 9:05 GMT

    @ ryan hill, is samuels is a youngster? nash would've been a better option at 6, he's been scoring consistantly for his county, is familiar with the conditions, and recently scored a century against an attack that included bresnan. whereas samuel is a proven under acheiver, just came from the ipl, and has to completely adjust his game, as well as to the english conditions he has never done well in.

  • muski on May 19, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    Oh Mark come on. What a waste of space on cricinfo. We all know this dont we. I dont know who is heading the WICB now. But, the guy needs to be congratulated for his stubborn stand on this issue. He needs to be at the BCCI- has all the required talent for the top job at BCCI. The names which you have metioned that are playing in the IPL except Gayle and possibly Narine( hope he does not turn out to be another Ajantha Mendis) are NOT test material. Sammy and his bunch of amateur cricketers have better in Eng than what the Indian superstars have done.

  • popcorn on May 19, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    Clearly,the egos of the West Indian Selectors and their Board is coming in he way of selectng the best Test Side possible.Chris Gayle,Ramnaresh Sarwan,Dwayne Bravo, Marlon Samuels and Sunil Narine would have given england a run for thier money.But the WIICB and their Selectors could not hold them back from the lure of the IPL. ICC has to take the blame for this. Their job is is to protect the game of cricket. Not let it become a Sloggers game.The ONLY way ICC can protect the game, is by declaring a window for the IPL - April to May EVERY year.No international Cricket should be scheduled during this period.

  • JG2704 on May 19, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    @Posted by rahulcricket007 on (May 19 2012, 04:03 AM GMT) - This is on a non spinning pitch where even Swann has had no influence whatsoever. Let's be honest here - if WI had all those players and they didn't do as well as folk like you dream about then you and the same people would be saying WI would be doing better with another set of players etc. EG if Narine played and was ineffective you'd be saying that the tried and tested Shillingford should have played and vice versa. You said on another post that low 40s is a mediocre average for a top order batsman and yet Gayle with a similar average is supposed to make a huge difference to the WI side

  • Woody111 on May 19, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    Good points Mark but don't let the players union there off the hook. They are cuplable as well but perhaps not as much as Gayle and the WICB. @Tjismonsenbeanburger; Gayle is one of the best batsman around, period. There's no reason to assume he would disrupt anything at all. Where's your argument champ?

  • JG2704 on May 19, 2012, 8:13 GMT

    @ sachin_champ on (May 19 2012, 06:05 AM GMT) I've heard it called all sorts of things like dosh , cash , dough , readies , wonga but never respect and honour

  • on May 19, 2012, 7:46 GMT

    Due to IPL, the global cricket is suffering. Watching West indies playing against england is useless and boring. What the hell are sunil narine, gayle, pollard, etc doing in IPL when their country is being beaten all over the globe. It looks like selfish west indians have lost the love for their country. It is my humble request to ICC that they should look into this and stop spoiling cricket by blocking all international players whose country is playing internationally during IPL to not allow them to play in IPL match even if they are not playing.

  • SamRoy on May 19, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    Mark, even though I am a huge test cricket fan, one should never find anything wrong if someone prefers one format over another because it helps to earn more money. Cricket is after all just a sport which just like other sports is built on the concept of earning money. If doesn't make money no one will be around it. West Indies players have always been paid the least among the international test teams and they have had squabbles with the board for the last 20 years. If it's a fault of anyone, then it's a collective fault (or should I say failure) of English and WICB Boards to organize an event at the time when a more lucrative event is going on. Remember, we don't have amateur cricketers anymore.

  • AussieGreek on May 19, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    where was Ravi Rampaul as well?

  • VivGilchrist on May 19, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    Gayle averages 40, Sarwan 40, Nash 33, Bravo 31, Pollard yet to play. With the ball - Bravo av 39, Taylor 35 and always injured, Russel only 1 Test, and Narine yet to play. None of these are top-shelf TEST players. But compared to Samuels av 29, Barath av 24, and Powell low 20's, as well as bowling with Fidel av 38, they could only make the team stronger. I know he arrived late into England but replacing Deonarine who is in excellent bowling form with Samuels was a terrible decision and sends a poor message.

  • tjsimonsen on May 19, 2012, 6:37 GMT

    For all the talk about Gayle, no doubt he is a very good player who can be highly destructive on his day (he has two triples afterall), I don't think he would be much of a benefit for this WI side. Simply because I think he would cause a huge disturbance in the dressing room and unsettle the side. His attitude towards test cricket is well known, isn't it. Afterall he said openly that he would be happy of the format dies (when he was the captain of the side!!). Why should he be playing in a format he obviously doesn't care about?

  • sachin_champ on May 19, 2012, 6:05 GMT

    @Mark Nicholas : What kind of analysis you have done I don't know but your analysis is subdued ..Top West Indies players playing IPL because they are getting more respect and honor which WICB not ready to give . No one is here to play cricket without money , although other players are milking . And I think IPL is giving more stress to you , why every time time IPL why not Big bash and Friends T20 or BPL .

  • on May 19, 2012, 5:19 GMT

    Would the fans rather have Gayle, Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Narine on the park? The answer to that should settle this argument. Still bringing in the IPL for all things wrong? Haven't we done enough of that for the last 4 years over 5 editions?

  • on May 19, 2012, 4:33 GMT

    If both sides are willing to pocket their egos and put the Caribbean cause above everything else WI can start on the road to recovery. But the required vision and big heart is missing. In the 70s WICB was pragmatic and let its Packer players keep their places whereas that is missing now.

  • rahulcricket007 on May 19, 2012, 4:03 GMT

    @JG2704 . I M QUITE SURE THAT NARINE COULD HAVE BAMBOOZLED SOME ENGLISH PLAYERS LIKE BELL WHO IS CONSIDERED AS THE BEST ENGISH BATSMEN AGAINST SPIN ( LOLZ) OR MAY BE STRAUSS WHO HAS STRUGGLED AGAINST SPIN .

  • on May 19, 2012, 3:31 GMT

    Sarwan & Nash use good sense and went to county cricket and it's paying off very well, current match Sarwan 117 and 61 not out, but sadly the coach dont like these guys, WI need a coach who can enhance technique not a person to break your confidence like Ottis

  • coverdriven on May 19, 2012, 2:18 GMT

    I am Sooo disgusted with these political comments who only care bout there players. geeeez look at this team nah Otis Gibson and Sammy is frauds. All these statisticians only putting up numbers its not about that it the spirit of the game this WI team is A sight for sore eyes. What is Sammy record its dismal compared to Gale's as a captain but the WI board only want yes men. All that Board and selectors should be shot. shame on you shame on you shame on you that we do not have our best team on the field its ceo and chairman all are disloyal to the exploits of the past greats shame on you for disrespecting their efforts. Nonsense about competing and then losing. its rubbish. these selectors remind me of our colonial masters the team in ah straight jacket and is tears in my heart and eyes when ah have to read soo much rubbish. it simple and it take nicholas to say that put the damn best WI team on the field and stop politicking with our cricketers. please please please disgusted and fed

  • on May 19, 2012, 2:04 GMT

    Good piece by Mark Nicholas.. Generally, I think he is some kind of cheerleader for Hussey and the Aussies. In this piece he articulated clearly the problems of West Indies selectors: inconsistency, irrationality and being unable to think clearly. Shillingford should have played; Sars and Gayle should have been in the team.

  • on May 19, 2012, 1:57 GMT

    I am sure Sarwan is off limits for this tour. After being treated with disrespect by an inept Board Sarwan has thrown his talent behind Les. and they will reap that benefit, I can't see him abandoning them for a team administered by people who have treated him so badly.

    An IPL window is desperatley needed. The WICB has for decades mistreated players and the resentment runs deep. They have made no improvement (WIPA 10 WICB 0 in arbitratiions) and players will always try to secure their financial future as they cannot depend on the WICB.

    Gayle, Nash, Sarwan, Dwayne Bravo, Jerome Taylor and Sunil Narine can all walk into this team easily and be complimented by Ramdin, Shiv, Roach, Shillinford, that right there is a world class team capable of beating anyone.

  • TheLight on May 19, 2012, 1:54 GMT

    The bottom line is that WI cricketers do not trust the WICB, Gibson et al. Based on their track recors of victimization and insularity. They will continue to choose IPL, T20 etc. Over WI because ten current WICB. Remove them and problem solved.

  • on May 19, 2012, 1:52 GMT

    Mr . Nicholas this a very good article. It is straight to the point. Anyone who can not see the truth in what you wrote, is sentimental or does not have clue about the game. This has been the hues and cries of everyone who can appreciate, class, talent and star players, except the W. I selectors and the coaches. 'W.I cricket has fallen well below the acceptale standard', and if this is more of the same that the cricket loving fans of theCaribbean are going to be subjected to in the upcoming series against New Zealand, then, its time to show our outrage. Its time for the fans to boycott the matches in each island - stay away from the matches. Its time to send a messsage - let the coaches and the selectors be the ones watching. After all its their team and not the fans' team. I rather see a star team/team of stars player than a mediocre team.

  • Rising_Edge1234 on May 19, 2012, 1:09 GMT

    West Indies bowling was bo-o-o-ringgg!!

  • Randy_Wilson on May 19, 2012, 0:57 GMT

    I wonder why people are criticing this Team ? West Indies With Gayle and Sarwan,etc is NO different with West Indies with sammy. West Indies LAST Test in England http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/series/380710.html Also the Test Before that in ENGLAND http://www.espncricinfo.com/engvwi/engine/series/258446.html They have suffer a MIGHTY LOST.

    I would get Beat with these youngster Player than Our Best Players. at least these young player will get a Chance and HOPE to improve, this is most of these player first test in England. People should get there Facts right. with Our Best Players West Indies is Still CRAP. That why We can NEVER get Number 1 again, because the Public Critics the work of WICB, The senior player Failed to be consistant and are not fighter, the younger player have NO experience but still giving a Fight.

  • on May 19, 2012, 0:49 GMT

    Lord have mercy!!! Someone just ranked Sammy as the 2nd best WI captain!!!! No man reading these comments making me ill. I swear cricinfo fabricating some these comments. I feel like somebody just tell me something nasty about my mother!!!

  • RodStark on May 19, 2012, 0:43 GMT

    Isn't it basically a matter of the WI not having the financial resources that other teams have? I would be fascinated to see a chart of the pay structure offered by the various boards.

  • on May 19, 2012, 0:37 GMT

    All the critics of the article have missed the major point. This team is not by anyone's reckoning the best WI team!!! Not even Otis Gibson thinks that. Modern sport is based on the principle that admin picks the best players available, then assemble a team to manage the various issues which will come up in any team environment. Nicholas is simply pointing out the glaring obvious, this team is at best WI's B team. If anyone commenting here really believes Kirk Edwards is better than Sarwan, or that Sammy is better than Bravo is clearly out of their mind. Now that we failed to achieve the 1st part of the principle(which is picking the best players) we have compounded it by poorly managing the bunch we have assembled. N.B. If I have to read one more statement about 32 being too old I'll just vomit. These same hypocrites sing the praise of Sachin & Shiv, while conveniently forgetting their age. Listen Nash is a pro, he's probably fitter than all of the 15 guys there now.

  • on May 19, 2012, 0:02 GMT

    The problem in West Indies Cricket is that the WICB has never been able to manage it's players,and without good management of your resources in any institution there will be no success,what they have done is to push away their best men in exchange for boys,our pool of players is very thin therefore they should find creative ways of managing these players and do what it takes to put best players on the pitch

  • ramps_wi on May 18, 2012, 23:57 GMT

    All of this nonsense can stop if Ottis Gibbon face up to the fact that he cannot manage stars. Hs solution is to get you of the team, this is the same man who almost got rid of Shiv, imagine what them scorecard would of looked like if he got his way

  • on May 18, 2012, 23:45 GMT

    Nash ? NASH?????? Wi are on a position where they need to select a team , not only with consieration for the present, but wth the future in mind !!!!! Nash is already well into his 30s. if selected he may play...what ? 3 maybe 4 years more ? Yes the youngsters will fail at first, but hopefully, with time they will learn and improve at their craft !!

  • on May 18, 2012, 23:28 GMT

    Completely overplaying the influence these players have had and would have. Gayle would add to the side. Dwayne Bravo would be a useful addition, but it would be hard to fit both he and Sammy into the side. Sarwan was dropped for form and fitness reasons, although I wouldn't be surprised if he is recalled during this series. Pollard, Narine and Russell wouldn't get in the team, and Taylor has been injured for so long he'd have to play himself back in.

    So one potentially world class player and one decent all-rounder who are both out of practice in the longer form of the game, and one decent batsman who needs to prove himself again. They're not going to change matters.

    And how anyone can say Pollard "would be a better bet than Edwards, Sammy and Powell" is completely beyond me!

  • creekeetman on May 18, 2012, 22:20 GMT

    Sarwan fails when needed, and is rightly ignored, the others... definitely. But you forgot to mention Nash, who's in fine form and would've done nicely at 6.

  • on May 18, 2012, 22:08 GMT

    'Marlin' Samuels ?!?!?! He certainly got the 'catch of the day' with Pietersen...(sorry)

  • cflook on May 18, 2012, 22:08 GMT

    I dont blame any of our west indian cricketers playing in IPL or any other 20/20 league. It is crazy to be faced with with an opportunity to bank millions a season vs making thousands a year playing for the west indies. You know why players from Australia and England put their country before playing for a club is because they are also making 1 millon+ plus per year playing for their national team. Everyone better stop putting these players down for opting club cricket over international when we all know when you are working for a living making more money is the aim. As much as we want the gayles and sarwans to play for the west indies I say the west indies cricket board has to get with the era that cricket is going thru and compromise to the fullest extent possible and get the "MOST POWERFUL WEST INDIES TEAM" back out on the field.

  • on May 18, 2012, 21:42 GMT

    West Indies could rule the world once we utilize or resources properly once number one always number one

  • on May 18, 2012, 21:40 GMT

    scheduling a window for IPL is unreasonable because of the other leagues cropping up like BPL, SPL, BigBash, all these leagues pay well, if not as well as IPL, players will flock to these too. WICB need to take the initiative of paying cricketers they want in squads enough compensation so they choose to play for WI rather than T20 leagues. Its a sad thing to have to pay your country's players enough compensation to choose tests over leagues but its a fact, thankfully this exists only in WI

  • landl47 on May 18, 2012, 21:39 GMT

    This is a bit of a shallow analysis. Gayle and Sarwan were in the WI side which lost the two tests in England in 2009, by 10 wickets and an innings. They made no difference then. Dwayne Bravo has played 40 tests, batting average of 31 and bowling average of 39. Russell has played one test, scored 2 and taken 1/104. Pollard hasn't played a test, but has a first-class batting average of 37 and bowling average of 49. Narine looks a good prospect, but he's only played 6 FC games and no tests. Taylor has had a falling-out with the WI board, but he's injured anyway and Shillingford was available but not picked. I see nothing in any of that to suggest that the WI would do any better with those players than the ones who are playing now, especially with regard to the bowling. Sammy has his men playing hard, but they're playing the #1 test team in England in May. They're doing about as well as can be expected. Let the mercenaries and prima donnas play IPL, I'll take the triers any day.

  • JG2704 on May 18, 2012, 21:22 GMT

    Seriously Mark Nicholas - Have you seen what Andre Russell did in his only test? Also Kieran Pollard averages 26 and 15 in OD/T20 and they are supposed to be the formats in which he excels. Bravo averages in low 30s which aint that great. Gayle obviously has the ability but I feel he will find it hard to adjust from the T20 mindset not to mention the English weather conditions. Narine is effective in T20 on Indian pitches but has not played test cricket , let alone in England - maybe he would do well but is totally unproven.Shillingford is unlucky not to play but so far Swann has looked ineffective so unless the pitch/conds change can we really expect Shill,Narine or Bishoo to do more than Swann? Sarwan possibly could/should be included and same with Deonarine but 3 of the top 6 are averaging around 50.I've said this before Gayle averages around the same as Strauss - one is seen as a huge loss not playing for his country while the other is trying to be pressured out

  • biggyd on May 18, 2012, 21:15 GMT

    windies have a sad record of not looking after their players. imagine ending your test career at 30 with no decent wage and no means to earn from there. if you're good enough, earn a living for you and your family elsewhere mr gayle and co. chanders is only playing tests cos he wasn't picked for ipl anyway...

  • on May 18, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    Pollard would be a better bet than Edwards, Sammy and Powell any day. But I'm still wonder why soem see sammy as a good captain even though he keeps making simple and fundamental mistakes and has never ever produced any performance as captain to merit that position. A team comprising Bharat, Gayle, Sarwan, Darren and Dwayne Bravo, Shiv, Ramdin, Narine, Roach, Rampaul and Bishoo or Shillingford would hold its own against any side. Or Samuels in place of the second spinner.

  • pr3m on May 18, 2012, 21:05 GMT

    The stand held by Gayle and co. reflects the West Indian culture. Just yesterday there was an article about Chanderpaul and how he plays selfish cricket. It's the same with all their players, they hardly see the West Indies as representing them. Gayle refusing a central contract was a sign of things to come.

    Dunno the scenario with Sarwan, really. Wonder what they thought when they dropped him.

  • StJohn on May 18, 2012, 21:02 GMT

    A quick proofread of this article wouldn't have hurt..."Marlin" Samuels? A West Indies Test XI with Gayle, Sarwan, both Bravos and Chanderpaul in would be a lot stronger. What a pity that so many world class players are missing. And what an irony that Gayle, Sarwan and Dwayne Bravo have been absent at a time when West Indies so needs them.

  • on May 18, 2012, 20:54 GMT

    if we include those 7 or 6 cricketers who would get drop, sammy doing a good job as captain, but he is not scoring runs nor taking wickets, so why sammy is on the team

  • riprock on May 18, 2012, 20:45 GMT

    Check out this 16 for a test team! Gayle, Barath, Bravo, Samuels, Chanderpaul, Bravo, Ramdin, Sammy, Rampaul, Roach, Sunil Narine. Subs: Sarwan, Bishoo, Edwards, Edwards, Taylor.

  • Erebus26 on May 18, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    I'm always been impressed by Sammy's attitude but he did his team no favours by not selecting a frontline spinner on a pitch such as this. Shillingford has a good doosra and bowls economically. As it is they have to rely on Samuels who actually did ok enough with his part-time offies. It does do a disservice for Windies cricket in that they are missing stars. But I think the West Indian hierarchy have to take much of the blame, rather than the players. It would be easy to class them a mercenaries but they are simply earning a living playing in the IPL where money and regular cricket is on offer. Guys like Sarwan and Nash are playing in England because they have been deemed surplus to requirements by the selectors. If the WICB really care about the game then why don't they schedule series around the IPL where they will be little conflict of interest?

  • Kula_Bowls_Inswing on May 18, 2012, 20:34 GMT

    Additionally, Brendan Nash is scoring runs for Kent.

    An IPL window would be a pragmatic solution. The WICB may need to create its own de facto window for the IPL in order to reach compromise with its best players, but doesn't the IPL coincide with part of the West Indies home season?

  • on May 18, 2012, 19:35 GMT

    Really. Salute to Daren Sammy ! He always fights. Whatever resources he gets he always play good attacking cricket. I think after Clive Lloyd Sammy is the best captain WI got. Offcources Lloyd had the best resources with him. Unfortunately Sammy not. But I like the attitude of Sammy. He never been on backfoot, wheather playing against Indians, Aussies or England. He always fights. Great Sammy. Go ahead !!! All the best !!!

  • drnaveed on May 18, 2012, 19:21 GMT

    both WI cricket board and Chris Gayle were stubborn in their respective stances,in the end it was West Indies which had to suffer, and had to pay the price.Secondly some of their main players were not given central contract ,and those are not willing to play for the WI ,but are enjoying playing in a 20 - 20 Festival tournament,by the name of IPL. it is really shameful for the players that they are having other preferences,other than playing for their Country.

  • rahul_sai on May 18, 2012, 19:19 GMT

    seven good cricketers? i see just six of them, if u include keiron pollard, that wud be a shame on the other gud cricketers. he might pretend to have the swagger of sir Viv, but he can just pretend. he s a bowler allrounder, a decent bowler who could bat a bit, not even in the class of stuart broad or even mitchell johnson let alone Dan. oh yeah, he can field.

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  • rahul_sai on May 18, 2012, 19:19 GMT

    seven good cricketers? i see just six of them, if u include keiron pollard, that wud be a shame on the other gud cricketers. he might pretend to have the swagger of sir Viv, but he can just pretend. he s a bowler allrounder, a decent bowler who could bat a bit, not even in the class of stuart broad or even mitchell johnson let alone Dan. oh yeah, he can field.

  • drnaveed on May 18, 2012, 19:21 GMT

    both WI cricket board and Chris Gayle were stubborn in their respective stances,in the end it was West Indies which had to suffer, and had to pay the price.Secondly some of their main players were not given central contract ,and those are not willing to play for the WI ,but are enjoying playing in a 20 - 20 Festival tournament,by the name of IPL. it is really shameful for the players that they are having other preferences,other than playing for their Country.

  • on May 18, 2012, 19:35 GMT

    Really. Salute to Daren Sammy ! He always fights. Whatever resources he gets he always play good attacking cricket. I think after Clive Lloyd Sammy is the best captain WI got. Offcources Lloyd had the best resources with him. Unfortunately Sammy not. But I like the attitude of Sammy. He never been on backfoot, wheather playing against Indians, Aussies or England. He always fights. Great Sammy. Go ahead !!! All the best !!!

  • Kula_Bowls_Inswing on May 18, 2012, 20:34 GMT

    Additionally, Brendan Nash is scoring runs for Kent.

    An IPL window would be a pragmatic solution. The WICB may need to create its own de facto window for the IPL in order to reach compromise with its best players, but doesn't the IPL coincide with part of the West Indies home season?

  • Erebus26 on May 18, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    I'm always been impressed by Sammy's attitude but he did his team no favours by not selecting a frontline spinner on a pitch such as this. Shillingford has a good doosra and bowls economically. As it is they have to rely on Samuels who actually did ok enough with his part-time offies. It does do a disservice for Windies cricket in that they are missing stars. But I think the West Indian hierarchy have to take much of the blame, rather than the players. It would be easy to class them a mercenaries but they are simply earning a living playing in the IPL where money and regular cricket is on offer. Guys like Sarwan and Nash are playing in England because they have been deemed surplus to requirements by the selectors. If the WICB really care about the game then why don't they schedule series around the IPL where they will be little conflict of interest?

  • riprock on May 18, 2012, 20:45 GMT

    Check out this 16 for a test team! Gayle, Barath, Bravo, Samuels, Chanderpaul, Bravo, Ramdin, Sammy, Rampaul, Roach, Sunil Narine. Subs: Sarwan, Bishoo, Edwards, Edwards, Taylor.

  • on May 18, 2012, 20:54 GMT

    if we include those 7 or 6 cricketers who would get drop, sammy doing a good job as captain, but he is not scoring runs nor taking wickets, so why sammy is on the team

  • StJohn on May 18, 2012, 21:02 GMT

    A quick proofread of this article wouldn't have hurt..."Marlin" Samuels? A West Indies Test XI with Gayle, Sarwan, both Bravos and Chanderpaul in would be a lot stronger. What a pity that so many world class players are missing. And what an irony that Gayle, Sarwan and Dwayne Bravo have been absent at a time when West Indies so needs them.

  • pr3m on May 18, 2012, 21:05 GMT

    The stand held by Gayle and co. reflects the West Indian culture. Just yesterday there was an article about Chanderpaul and how he plays selfish cricket. It's the same with all their players, they hardly see the West Indies as representing them. Gayle refusing a central contract was a sign of things to come.

    Dunno the scenario with Sarwan, really. Wonder what they thought when they dropped him.

  • on May 18, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    Pollard would be a better bet than Edwards, Sammy and Powell any day. But I'm still wonder why soem see sammy as a good captain even though he keeps making simple and fundamental mistakes and has never ever produced any performance as captain to merit that position. A team comprising Bharat, Gayle, Sarwan, Darren and Dwayne Bravo, Shiv, Ramdin, Narine, Roach, Rampaul and Bishoo or Shillingford would hold its own against any side. Or Samuels in place of the second spinner.