West Indies in England 2012 June 12, 2012

Samuels reborn, Bravo disappoints

ESPNcricinfo runs the rule over the West Indies players who faced England

Marlon Samuels
Cool and detached was the façade, but behind that cloak brewed a strong spirit that wanted to make a point - not to anyone else but himself, that he is the best. Samuels had come straight from the IPL, but swiftly made the transition, applying himself and working hard in the nets to succeed in English conditions. He made runs, got motivated by locking horns verbally with a frustrated England bowling attack, remained the spine of a weak West Indies batting order and finished as the highest run-maker. And with the specialist spinner unable to make an impact, Samuels even turned his arm over nicely to pick some useful wickets.

Tino Best
Kevin Pietersen called Best an entertainer after Best treated the smattering of Edgbaston faithful on an otherwise drab Sunday to one of most memorable knocks by a No. 11. It was extraordinary because Best, who had a batting average of 9.86 before, played deftly with a straight bat before falling down five runs short of becoming the first No.11 in Test cricket history to score a century. He remained aggressive with new ball in hand, picking up two good wickets. With his effervescent smile and bravado, Best made cricket a joy to watch.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul
Twice at Lord's he came close to again putting his name on the honours board. But he faltered at crucial moments and England quickly grabbed the controls. Chanderpaul seemed disoriented at Trent Bridge and then got sidelined by a side strain in the final Test. The world's top-ranked Test batsman would have set his sights on bigger things and returns without a century in England for the fourth time.

Darren Sammy
The question about if he deserves a place in the Test team will never leave Sammy. But he is a leader of men and works hard. His century in the second innings at Trent Bridge made him sit and realise that he could be a handy lower-order batsman if he continues to work hard and not play reckless strokes, which he did at vital junctures. As for his bowling, Sammy will keep coming back and surprising batsmen with the odd movement but is not quite a third seamer.

Kemar Roach
Michael Holding was furious that Roach played in the four-day tour match against England Lions days before the first Test and felt it was unjust to put so much workload on him after he played a full series at home against Australia in March and April. Holding was proved right when Roach was forced to return home due to shin injury after the second Test. But in the time he was fit, Roach lit up the series with some fierce spells of fast bowling especially when he cut Jonny Bairstow in two during his debut innings and then gave England a scare with three quick wickets early into their chase of a small target at Lord's.

Denesh Ramdin
Ramdin will be remembered for the statement against Viv Richards. If he had kept quiet, people would have noted this was his best series where he doubled his average, mainly because of his second Test century, which was built with the right mixture of application and drive, something West Indies need in the middle order desperately to raise big totals.

Ravi Rampaul
He sprained his neck before Lord's and was sorely missed especially as a good support for Roach, When he returned Rampaul was the best bowler for the visitors in the second Test and got Alastair Cook easily for the second time at Edgbaston.

Shannon Gabriel
Made his debut at Lord's but bowled within himself and handled the slope nicely. A strongly-built man, Gabriel bounded in with a smooth action and got enough bounce to keep the batsmen in check. Among his victims was the prized scalp of Pietersen in the second innings but a stress reaction in his back ruled him out of the rest of the tour. If looked after well, Gabriel has the potential to be a good work horse in the long run.

Adrian Barath
Talented, but lacks endurance. He did work hard to leave many balls alone in the first hour and even survived a session twice (in the first innings at Lord's and Edgbaston) only to chase a ball that he had ignored all morning.


Kieran Powell
Played some sumptuous off drives but like couldn't resist temptations, making him an easy scalp for the bowlers who stuck to the off stump. Was given a few lessons in Test cricket by James Anderson.

Sunil Narine
Landed in England as a man of mystery and was brought on against the two of the best batsmen of spin: Pietersen and Ian Bell. The pair effortlessly picked Narine from the hand. It remains far too early to make judgements but Narine will have understood that Test cricket will either make him a better spinner if he was willing to learn, or easily discard him to the bin of the spinners who had started with the mystery ball only to be exposed quickly.

Assad Fudadin
After replacing Kirk Edwards he started on a promising note, showed the grit West Indies need at the top, but then got stuck in muddled thoughts and was bounced out by Tim Bresnan.

Darren Bravo
The biggest disappointment of the trip. Bravo was touted to be the most equipped to prosper in England. But he flattered to deceive. In the first innings at Lord's he started off smoothly before Chanderpaul ran him out, but thereafter he kept getting out against deliveries he should left alone. Returning without a half century against the world No. 1 team will hurt his pride

Kirk Edwards
Some might argue he should not be given any mark at all. Appointed the vice-captain, Edwards was expected to lay the bricks for the middle-order to build on. Instead he finished the series as the drinks carrier as his technique against the new ball was completely exposed following 20 runs on the entire tour.

Shane Shillingford
He began by saying he could not grip the ball at Lord's and would rather sit out in the cold weather. When he played a week later at Trent Bridge and finished as the most expensive bowler on both sides. The reasons were many: unfriendly pitches, cold conditions and good opponents. Still Shillingford, who had taken a 10-wicket match haul against Australia at home, should have shown more discipline.

Narsingh Deonarine
He had retained his spot in the squad after a decent all-round performance against Australia at home. He got lucky and found a berth when Chanderpaul pulled out in the final Test, but lasted just 29 deliveries before chasing an angled delivery from Graham Onions.

Fidel Edwards
Edwards is one of the most maverick characters in West Indies camp. He had a seven-wicket haul on his previous tour of England and should have ideally been the leader of the pack. Instead an inconsistent performance at Lord's forced the team management to drop him for the final two Tests and confined him to the dressing where he quietly watched his team-mates toil hard.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Pushkar on June 14, 2012, 0:43 GMT

    And SURELY Shiv deserves more than a 6?! It's an outrage!

  • Pushkar on June 14, 2012, 0:42 GMT

    Darren Bravo was such a disappointment this tour. You can only hope that in hindsight, this will seem as nothing but an aberration on a very fulfilling career. Although I wonder, what did Graham Onions do better than Tino Best in the one test that they both played in? Granted Onions was immense with his performance and the storyline of his comeback was nothing short of heroic but nonetheless, based on merit, surely he didn't outmark Best?

  • Patrick on June 13, 2012, 20:52 GMT

    Way to harsh on guys based on opportunities. Best should be a 10/10 because it was not his fault that he only played the one test. Gabriel should have scored higher than he did, performing decently in his only appearance. Also Roach.

  • John on June 13, 2012, 20:29 GMT

    @Meety on (June 13 2012, 12:47 PM GMT) - I'm not against giving a player big marks for just one test if the player only played the 1 test. It's a shame the same author didn't do the marks for both sides. I have become a bit of a fan of some of the WI players - just because of the attitude they have. Sammy and Samuels in particular. And even as an England fan it was an absolute joy to see the enthusiasm oozing from Tino Best. I have never wanted anyone to score a 100 against England - even if they were on 99. But with Tino , I really wanted him to get those 3 figures. Now for the Saffas which will be an extremely tough series and we will need to up our game

  • Andrew on June 13, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    @JG2704 - LOL re: Sir Viv! I suppose it is just about the consistancy between different markers, I think Swann rated higher than The Chanders, now nothing against Swann, he didn't have the best of conditions, but that is inconsistant. IMO, in reference to the 1st test ONLY, I would rate Best a 7 or 8, but in terms of a SERIES, he really can't get more than a max of FIVE IMO.

  • Randolph on June 13, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    Embarassing scores handed out here by yet another English press beat up. Reading the papers in England youd think they had dominated the world for 15 odd years, won 16 tests in a row twice, won in every location on earth and have 3 straight world cups to their name. Oh wait no that's Australia :)

  • John on June 13, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    @Meety - Funnily enough I would not have been against ranking Tino higher , but I can see why you might want to downgrade the marks. If we're going on consistency Onions played in 1 test and in 1 inns takes 4-88 , but was part of the Eng attack which couldn't polish WI off - and got 8. For WI Gabriel played one test with match figures of 4-86 and got 4 and Tino scored 95 (which IMO could have been a crucial inns had the game gone the course and took 2-37 and got 7. Prior's highest score was 19 and he gets 6 while Ramdin scored that 100 and he gets 5 - now unless their WK performances contrasted greatly that seems wrong. Maybe sir Viv had a say on these marks and because none were in winning games he deemed the performances meaningless?

  • Clive on June 13, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    Samuels played the best innings and made the wittiest remarks on either side. His performance was almost as good as Dravid's last summer, and that is the highest praise. I was really impressed by his mental toughness and his hunger. He is finally shaking off his reputation as a chronic under-achiever. Would love to see him build on this and end the year as one of the top scorers in test cricket. He pretty much has the perfect game to be a successful batsman as long as he keeps up this discipline.

  • Jack on June 13, 2012, 6:55 GMT

    Pietersen one of the best players of spin? Nathan Hauritz might disagree.

  • rienzie on June 13, 2012, 2:57 GMT

    Two glaring points, the top 4 were too inexperienced to weather off the new ball and sadly they failed badly. The expectation on Bravo and Edwards was too high. Sadly all great players normally started in a batting line up that was solid and their game developed as they could bat in partnerships with established players. the loss of Sarwan and Gayle (totally avoidable) has now made these two players drop down in confidence! Second point is the captaincy of Sammy is poor, that should be marked down to 0. He is very emotional and too nice as a captain. He is good for tapping gloves when he bats, putting his hands on his head when things go wrong. My point is that he lacks the science to kill of the opposition and too often is void of ideas when things turn against him. Sammy's captaincy - ZERO!

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