November 17, 2013

A no-show by West Indies

All the apparent progress they made last year amounted to nothing when they faced India
33

Not for the first time in recent years, the pre-series words of a West Indies captain have come back to haunt him.

In the customary interview prior to the first Test in Kolkata, Darren Sammy said this about his side's preparation in Florida for the two-match series: "Many people may feel that we should have been hitting cricket balls, but the mental side of the game is very important, and team bonding and working on our mental toughness, I think will pay off for us, and I want to thank the West Indies Cricket Board for coming up with it... The guys really enjoyed each other's company and we became closer as a unit, so hopefully we can take that on to the field - the mental toughness - together with our cricket skills and have two good Test matches here."

The word "hopefully" was probably Sammy's attempt at caution should things not work out well.

They didn't.

So as so many before him have had to do following a series sweep by the opposition, Sammy had to plead guilty for his side.

"We never turned up in the series," he said after the innings drubbing in Mumbai. "We won six Test matches against teams we were ranked higher than. Now we play against a team that are ranked higher than us, it was an opportunity to showcase what we have. What we displayed over the last two Test matches, or over six days, we're much better than that.

"If you look at the way we played, every time we've been under pressure, we've not responded well... I guess it's is a mental thing. Myself as captain [have] not led from the front at all in this series."

A mental thing. How ironic, given that the whole purpose of the one-week camp in Florida was to prevent the kind of mental vacation the West Indians seemed to take against India.

In a series where Sachin Tendulkar and not India v West Indies was the focus, Sammy's side still managed to lose more than the two Tests they were not expected to win in any case.

India's master batsman deservedly went out as the champion that he is, but his final series was robbed of some of the lustre appropriate for such an outstanding competitor. Even by their less-than-stellar standards these days, West Indies outdid themselves. In four innings, not once did they bat the regulation 90 overs. They didn't even come close. The more they batted, the worse they fared. Saturday's final capitulation lasted just 47 overs. Such limited occupation of the crease meant that Indian fans could see their hero bat just twice.

More of Sammy's pre-series words were made to sound quite hollow. Words like these: "Now we have Shiv, Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels. Two players that were young then, Darren Bravo and Kieran Powell, have matured. Narsingh Deonarine and Kirk Edwards were part of the A team that visited recently and did well, so we have more experience in the batting."

Even by their less-than-stellar standards these days, West Indies outdid themselves. In four innings, not once did they bat the regulation 90 overs. They didn't even come close. The more they batted, the worse they fared

That experience counted for nothing in the end after totals of 234, 168, 182 and 187. Even the West Indies A side would not have been excused for putting up those numbers. And what they reflect yet again is a mental breakdown. Psychological preparation of teams in the modern age is becoming standard practice. But the ad-hoc manner in which such help is given to West Indies sides is counter-productive. One-off events like the Florida trip are simply not adequate. Not in this era.

However, even without regular professional help, the current crop is still culpable. Powell and Bravo, who both showed much promise when they toured the subcontinent two years ago, did not demonstrate in their shot selection and management of their innings the maturity their captain had spoken about and was within his rights to expect.

Opener Powell, who averaged 30.25 in the series, did not improve from his unbelievable attempted hook shot that cost him his wicket before lunch on the opening day of the series. And Bravo's struggles - he averaged 25 - to maintain a scoring tempo in his innings continued. India's spinners could settle against him, not having to worry about conceding too many rhythm-disrupting singles.

Immediately therefore, much of West Indies' pre-series planning fell through. Success in India was dependent on heavy scoring by the top five. That only the old pro, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, fared better, and only marginally, (133 runs, average 44.33) was telling.

It is always dangerous to write off proven warriors like Gayle. But his recent numbers are worth some scrutiny. Since his return to the Test team last year, in 15 innings Gayle has managed two centuries and one half-century - of which a a hundred and a fifty came in his very first game back, against New Zealand in Antigua. Hand-eye coordination, not footwork, has been the big man's key to success over the years, along with his long reach, power and fighting attitude. It may now be that time is beginning to take its toll on his skills, at least in Tests. The cause for real worry for the selectors and coach Ottis Gibson must be that unlike India, who have found a Shikhar Dhawan to replace Virender Sehwag, there is no obvious successor at the top to Gayle.

Similarly in the bowling, a settled opening attack is still proving elusive. The big gamble to carry an injured Kemar Roach to India backfired, robbing the attack of its spearhead. It was a void that the big-hearted Tino Best did not fill, and the excellent Shane Shillingford was left to toil on his own virtually.

Watching up close the no-show in India, chairman of selectors Clyde Butts must have had an uncomfortable and depressing time. The progress that seemed to have been made in 2012 did not seem like much at all on this Indian trip. Yet another examination against a top team was flunked.

Maybe Clive Lloyd is right. Captain when professionalism and West Indies went together, Lloyd said this recently at a forum in his native Guyana: "I think our cricketers must start thinking about the West Indies; they need to start showing more loyalty to their country and once that is being displayed, West Indies cricket can move up the ladder. We have the talent here, but we don't have the players who are disciplined. Natural talent is just a part of it. You must have discipline to succeed. You must have discipline in your fitness, training, bowling, batting, fielding and all other aspects of the game."

Lloyd was stating the obvious in that last bit. However, on the latest evidence, his successors don't get it.

Garth Wattley is a writer with the Trinidad Express

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Lakie on November 19, 2013, 2:10 GMT

    I have read several postings regarding the state of WI cricket team and I thought I would chime in with a few comments.

    For the past 15 years or so the WI cricket team has lacked WICKET TAKING BOWLERS since the departure of the greats Ambrose and Walsh. As such, they have struggled to win Test Matches consistently unable to get 20 wickets. Despite this,however, we have been blessed and somewhat cursed with the advent of T20 as it has allowed us to somewhat HIDE this TRUTH.

    The fact is that the WI selectors, administrators,advisers and even some of its players have resorted to NOT STUDYING for the TEST but rather to enter each exam with a "Whatever" attitude, even leaving the exam before it is time. The mental toughness, occupying the crease,rotating the strike,talking to each other while at the crease and above all INTUITION are all characteristics missing and it shows in the TEST results.

    I believe if we start with these basics a higher score may be earned even if we just draw..

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 19, 2013, 1:12 GMT

    Part7: Everybody in the stadium knows that, this inning was a payback time and I'm not sure how many Zimbabwean children must have been scarred by Sachin's onslaught on Olonga during the match or by his words after the match. In an instant, Windies were forgiven, completely. I am now able to understand my Father's words - Sportsmanship. Lloyd was reduced to that 'mean' child in your school who throws a tantrum when he loses, an insignificant but amusing remnant from childhood as we move into our adulthood. Grown up I am now, thanks to Sachin's uncomplicated words. I was once again able to enjoy Windies Cricket just the way I used to, before 1983. Felt good that I'm loving my Sobers again. Felt good that I'm loving my Viv again. Felt content with Lara's exploits. Felt good that I'm loving the Windies again wholeheartedly as I used to, when I was in my 6th grade. Watched Fire in Babylon, as a grown up man, to my heart's content, as soon as it was released.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 19, 2013, 1:11 GMT

    Part6: Caught at gully, I think. Heart break for me. The Master then faces Olonga again in the next match two days later. Olonga was now being dealt with utter disdain by Sachin, the same way Windies dealt with us on the 1983 tour of India. Sachin 1 - Olonga 1. Matter has been settled rather violently, on the field. Post-match interview with the Man of the Match - Sachin. Obvious question about Olonga and Sachin says something like this - "Olonga is also an international quality bowler. Sometimes he will dominate and sometimes I will." Not a word to the effect that Olonga or any Zimbabwean child should forget about that lovely bouncer Olonga bowled to The Master, two days ago. Take a bow, Master! What Sportsmanship! Matter has been settled rather amicably, post-match. My immediate reaction was what a contrast between Sachin and Lloyd. (TBC)

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 19, 2013, 1:10 GMT

    Part5: Windies lost the match but won many a heart, thousands of miles away. Sunny retired and within a span of two years arrives a child called Sachin Tendulkar. Within an year, on the other side of the globe, in the Caribbean, arrives a Prince called Brian Charles Lara. By now, I was a teenager. Matches were lost. Matches were won. India were usually mid-table dwellers. Both the batsmen were doing wonders across the globe. Became Lara's and Sachin's fan and was looking forward for their performances. I'm now in my mid-20s and then came the day, in November 1998, when I was freed from Lloyd's reverberating post-match comments, the comments I was held hostage to, for 15 long years. India was playing Zimbabwe and The Master fell to a bouncer from Olonga. Olonga was a very very fast bowler. The ball crept on Sachin with steep bounce and The Master surrendered tamely by holding his bat in front of his face. (TBC)

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 19, 2013, 1:06 GMT

    Part4: I developed some kind of dislike towards Windies Team for the way Lloyd confused me by downplaying the Greatest Joy of my life. With his post-match interviews in 1983, in India, he basically told a happy kid (me) that I should forget about my happiness. Still wondering, why? With Azharuddin, Siddhu, Sunny, Kapil, Cheeka and others, India was no longer a pushover. I continued to feel happy whenever Windies lost. But then came the moment when my bitterness towards the Windies team almost disappeared. Courtney Walsh showed the world in 1987 World Cup what is meant by sportsmanship by not Mankading Salim Jaffer of Pakistan, who was backing too much at the non-striker's end. Walsh's willingness to be sportive towards an unsportsmanlike sportsperson was in stark contrast to what Lloyd displayed in India in his post-match interviews. All is well with Windies. Lloyd didn't seem to infect the young minds of Windies, after all, with his unsportsmanlike philosophy. (TBC)

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 19, 2013, 1:04 GMT

    Part3: At the same time, I didn't understand the politics of Indian Cricket in those days and the internal struggle for power within the team and the power struggle between the various regional boards of my country. I heard a lot from my father and other relatives about the lobbies in our team. Didn't understand their 'nonsense'. Kid was I. India embarked on 1985 World Championship of Cricket and passed in flying colors. My father clarified again to me, "India doesn't have to forget about Prudential Cup 1983 as you can see now that we again won a tournament that has all the international teams." Lloyd's words kept ringing in my ears, even after 2 years. My love for Kapil increased further and his single minded dedication for the team's cause AND results made him very endearing to me. India is now kind of a strong favourite in International tournaments. Felt good. Really good! (TBC)

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 19, 2013, 1:02 GMT

    Part2: My father told me that "Lloyd isn't being graceful in defeat. However badly he might have wanted to win, he shouldn't talk in that unsportsmanlike manner." Hard for me to understand those 'superfluous' terms. Meanwhile, while the 1983 Windies tour of India was on, I developed a particular interest to imitate the bowling actions of Marshall, Holding, Roberts, Wayne Daniel (wickedly forceful deliveries) and The Big Bird (from Prudential Cup clippings). I mastered Marshall's action, without line and length. Daniel's was a close second, with decent line and length. I was decent with Holding's action and managed very good line and length. Wasn't bad at The Big Bird's and Roberts' action too, bad line and length once again. But since all my school mates and our teachers wanted to see only the perfect replica, I continued to entertain them with Marshall's action only. (TBC)

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 19, 2013, 1:01 GMT

    Part1: The following posts should summarize what Windies Cricket means to this Indian. Not sure, if any or how many of my posts will get published. But I just wanted to share my love story. I come from a generation of Indian kids who saw Kapil's Devils ambushing Windies in 1983 Prudential Cup Final. Windies came to India immediately after, and thrashed us black and blue. Lloyd kept on repeating like a mantra that India should forget about World Cup in his post-match interviews. Actually, I'm not sure if he kept repeating those words like a mantra, and he may have said those words only once. But his words were so disturbing that they reverberated in my ears for years to come and go on to have a profound impact on me, growing up. I wondered why I should forget about the world cup, as a child. For a child in 6th grade his mantra was very confusing. I didn't understand what he meant by India should forget about World Cup. (TBC)

  • legendscricket on November 18, 2013, 23:59 GMT

    I am appall that one fan would criticize me or anyone asking for the head of Denish Ramdin.He is a senior player, he is the # 1wicketkeeper,he is expected to perform a lot better than he did,India vs Windies.2 catches,3catches on the carpet cost the team.He is not the only one.The irresponsible batting of Bravo,Gayle & Darren Sammy,POOR FIELDING-The lack of rotation when the guys like Bravo, Gayle & others occupy the wicket is a recipe for failure.I have not criticize Chanders for his batting,I still won,t.It is unlikely that he will ever open-I am not sure he should.The openers along with Bravo & Samuels need to occupy the wicket,putting runs on the board.Kirk Edwards,Powell & Brathwaite should be seen as the WINDIES Openers;Gayle will not move to play the moving ball;At this phase in his career he will not make runs consistently against new ball bowlers that can move the ball away from & into the batsman.Darren Sammy's tenure as captain must come to an end.He needs to bat,not happen

  • MiddleStump on November 18, 2013, 20:57 GMT

    In the 60's India had to play 4 day tests because they were told they were not good enough to deserve a 5 day contest. By that measure, the West Indies team should hereafter play 3 day tests. After all, they managed to lose two tests in about 5 days time both by innings defeats. It may do them some good. Just as it improved standards in India.

  • Lakie on November 19, 2013, 2:10 GMT

    I have read several postings regarding the state of WI cricket team and I thought I would chime in with a few comments.

    For the past 15 years or so the WI cricket team has lacked WICKET TAKING BOWLERS since the departure of the greats Ambrose and Walsh. As such, they have struggled to win Test Matches consistently unable to get 20 wickets. Despite this,however, we have been blessed and somewhat cursed with the advent of T20 as it has allowed us to somewhat HIDE this TRUTH.

    The fact is that the WI selectors, administrators,advisers and even some of its players have resorted to NOT STUDYING for the TEST but rather to enter each exam with a "Whatever" attitude, even leaving the exam before it is time. The mental toughness, occupying the crease,rotating the strike,talking to each other while at the crease and above all INTUITION are all characteristics missing and it shows in the TEST results.

    I believe if we start with these basics a higher score may be earned even if we just draw..

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 19, 2013, 1:12 GMT

    Part7: Everybody in the stadium knows that, this inning was a payback time and I'm not sure how many Zimbabwean children must have been scarred by Sachin's onslaught on Olonga during the match or by his words after the match. In an instant, Windies were forgiven, completely. I am now able to understand my Father's words - Sportsmanship. Lloyd was reduced to that 'mean' child in your school who throws a tantrum when he loses, an insignificant but amusing remnant from childhood as we move into our adulthood. Grown up I am now, thanks to Sachin's uncomplicated words. I was once again able to enjoy Windies Cricket just the way I used to, before 1983. Felt good that I'm loving my Sobers again. Felt good that I'm loving my Viv again. Felt content with Lara's exploits. Felt good that I'm loving the Windies again wholeheartedly as I used to, when I was in my 6th grade. Watched Fire in Babylon, as a grown up man, to my heart's content, as soon as it was released.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 19, 2013, 1:11 GMT

    Part6: Caught at gully, I think. Heart break for me. The Master then faces Olonga again in the next match two days later. Olonga was now being dealt with utter disdain by Sachin, the same way Windies dealt with us on the 1983 tour of India. Sachin 1 - Olonga 1. Matter has been settled rather violently, on the field. Post-match interview with the Man of the Match - Sachin. Obvious question about Olonga and Sachin says something like this - "Olonga is also an international quality bowler. Sometimes he will dominate and sometimes I will." Not a word to the effect that Olonga or any Zimbabwean child should forget about that lovely bouncer Olonga bowled to The Master, two days ago. Take a bow, Master! What Sportsmanship! Matter has been settled rather amicably, post-match. My immediate reaction was what a contrast between Sachin and Lloyd. (TBC)

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 19, 2013, 1:10 GMT

    Part5: Windies lost the match but won many a heart, thousands of miles away. Sunny retired and within a span of two years arrives a child called Sachin Tendulkar. Within an year, on the other side of the globe, in the Caribbean, arrives a Prince called Brian Charles Lara. By now, I was a teenager. Matches were lost. Matches were won. India were usually mid-table dwellers. Both the batsmen were doing wonders across the globe. Became Lara's and Sachin's fan and was looking forward for their performances. I'm now in my mid-20s and then came the day, in November 1998, when I was freed from Lloyd's reverberating post-match comments, the comments I was held hostage to, for 15 long years. India was playing Zimbabwe and The Master fell to a bouncer from Olonga. Olonga was a very very fast bowler. The ball crept on Sachin with steep bounce and The Master surrendered tamely by holding his bat in front of his face. (TBC)

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 19, 2013, 1:06 GMT

    Part4: I developed some kind of dislike towards Windies Team for the way Lloyd confused me by downplaying the Greatest Joy of my life. With his post-match interviews in 1983, in India, he basically told a happy kid (me) that I should forget about my happiness. Still wondering, why? With Azharuddin, Siddhu, Sunny, Kapil, Cheeka and others, India was no longer a pushover. I continued to feel happy whenever Windies lost. But then came the moment when my bitterness towards the Windies team almost disappeared. Courtney Walsh showed the world in 1987 World Cup what is meant by sportsmanship by not Mankading Salim Jaffer of Pakistan, who was backing too much at the non-striker's end. Walsh's willingness to be sportive towards an unsportsmanlike sportsperson was in stark contrast to what Lloyd displayed in India in his post-match interviews. All is well with Windies. Lloyd didn't seem to infect the young minds of Windies, after all, with his unsportsmanlike philosophy. (TBC)

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 19, 2013, 1:04 GMT

    Part3: At the same time, I didn't understand the politics of Indian Cricket in those days and the internal struggle for power within the team and the power struggle between the various regional boards of my country. I heard a lot from my father and other relatives about the lobbies in our team. Didn't understand their 'nonsense'. Kid was I. India embarked on 1985 World Championship of Cricket and passed in flying colors. My father clarified again to me, "India doesn't have to forget about Prudential Cup 1983 as you can see now that we again won a tournament that has all the international teams." Lloyd's words kept ringing in my ears, even after 2 years. My love for Kapil increased further and his single minded dedication for the team's cause AND results made him very endearing to me. India is now kind of a strong favourite in International tournaments. Felt good. Really good! (TBC)

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 19, 2013, 1:02 GMT

    Part2: My father told me that "Lloyd isn't being graceful in defeat. However badly he might have wanted to win, he shouldn't talk in that unsportsmanlike manner." Hard for me to understand those 'superfluous' terms. Meanwhile, while the 1983 Windies tour of India was on, I developed a particular interest to imitate the bowling actions of Marshall, Holding, Roberts, Wayne Daniel (wickedly forceful deliveries) and The Big Bird (from Prudential Cup clippings). I mastered Marshall's action, without line and length. Daniel's was a close second, with decent line and length. I was decent with Holding's action and managed very good line and length. Wasn't bad at The Big Bird's and Roberts' action too, bad line and length once again. But since all my school mates and our teachers wanted to see only the perfect replica, I continued to entertain them with Marshall's action only. (TBC)

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 19, 2013, 1:01 GMT

    Part1: The following posts should summarize what Windies Cricket means to this Indian. Not sure, if any or how many of my posts will get published. But I just wanted to share my love story. I come from a generation of Indian kids who saw Kapil's Devils ambushing Windies in 1983 Prudential Cup Final. Windies came to India immediately after, and thrashed us black and blue. Lloyd kept on repeating like a mantra that India should forget about World Cup in his post-match interviews. Actually, I'm not sure if he kept repeating those words like a mantra, and he may have said those words only once. But his words were so disturbing that they reverberated in my ears for years to come and go on to have a profound impact on me, growing up. I wondered why I should forget about the world cup, as a child. For a child in 6th grade his mantra was very confusing. I didn't understand what he meant by India should forget about World Cup. (TBC)

  • legendscricket on November 18, 2013, 23:59 GMT

    I am appall that one fan would criticize me or anyone asking for the head of Denish Ramdin.He is a senior player, he is the # 1wicketkeeper,he is expected to perform a lot better than he did,India vs Windies.2 catches,3catches on the carpet cost the team.He is not the only one.The irresponsible batting of Bravo,Gayle & Darren Sammy,POOR FIELDING-The lack of rotation when the guys like Bravo, Gayle & others occupy the wicket is a recipe for failure.I have not criticize Chanders for his batting,I still won,t.It is unlikely that he will ever open-I am not sure he should.The openers along with Bravo & Samuels need to occupy the wicket,putting runs on the board.Kirk Edwards,Powell & Brathwaite should be seen as the WINDIES Openers;Gayle will not move to play the moving ball;At this phase in his career he will not make runs consistently against new ball bowlers that can move the ball away from & into the batsman.Darren Sammy's tenure as captain must come to an end.He needs to bat,not happen

  • MiddleStump on November 18, 2013, 20:57 GMT

    In the 60's India had to play 4 day tests because they were told they were not good enough to deserve a 5 day contest. By that measure, the West Indies team should hereafter play 3 day tests. After all, they managed to lose two tests in about 5 days time both by innings defeats. It may do them some good. Just as it improved standards in India.

  • Rally_Windies on November 18, 2013, 20:14 GMT

    I have one problem with this article ..

    "the excellent Shane Shillingford" ?

    He bowled 1/2 the overs, so i would expect him to get 1/2 the wickets ....

    If anything Deonarine was severely under-bowled... and just as effective as Shillingford.

    Which makes me wonder ...

    IF Doenarine was given 30 overs instead on 9, and Permaul stifled the other end , would that have been the West Indies best tactic for getting India dismissed for 300 runs or less ?

    Sammy did not Bowl, so Deonarine, Shilly and Permaul could have played in both games with 2 pacers (provided Sammy did not play) ....

    Rotating Deonarine, Shilly and Permaul was probably the WI best bowling option.

    But Gibson is to myopic as a fast bowling coach, and is incapable of using spinners... Sammy is pretty ineffective as a Captain of spin bowling....

  • on November 18, 2013, 18:33 GMT

    First of all, West Indies need to play with 11 players rather than 10 players and a cheerleader. Sammy is a joke as a test cricketer. He's an irresponsible slogger with the bat who could be quite handy at number 9 rather than 7 or 8. He could barely squeeze in as a 4th seamer in a proper 5 man bowling unit if there are not too many options. Him being their has an adverse impact on the balance of the side. They should also look at the players. Kraigg Brathwaite might not play too many big shots, but he has the right attitude for the longer formats of the game and was in very good form during the A team tour of India, yet he finds himself out of the West Indies setup. Sunil Narine certainly is better than Veerasammy Permaul as the spin option, and should have made the side as the 2nd spinner.

  • on November 18, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    WI batsmen lack patience. They needed better shot selection, leave out the bad balls and runs would have come. However it boils down to patience. Samuels stepping out against Ojha in 2nd test 2nd innings sums up the attitude of WI batsmen. I cannot understand why Sunil Narine is not part of the team. He could have taken a handful of wickets. I also think Darren Sammy is a goodwill guy, but doesnt fit into the playing eleven on basis of merit.

  • rayinto on November 18, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    Are Sammy's performance in the last 2 test, its had to understand he is still in the side, let alone leading. Gibson, please swallow your pride, pick up the phone and call Sarwan to the rescue!

  • eddsnake on November 18, 2013, 13:26 GMT

    Sammy has done a good job in ODIs and T20s but it's time for a new WI test captain. My vote would go to either Sarwan or Kirk Edwards. Team for NZ would be Gayle, Powell, Edwards/Sarwan*, Bravo, Chanderpaul, Samuels, Ramdin+, Rampaul, Shillingford (if his action gets cleared again by the ICC, if not then pick Narine), Roach, Edwards. Not sure of the fitness of Rampaul, Roach or Edwards though! Where is Jerome Taylor these days?

  • Mark_arvind on November 18, 2013, 13:15 GMT

    I am stunned by the lack of fight by West Indies. I remember watching the West Indies team of the years gone by that would make the opposing teams shiver with their disciplined pace bowling. An innings defeat back to back in under 3 days was something that only Indian team went through. What a difference a few decades has made. I am wondering whether it is the Indian team getting so good in the last couple decades or is it the West Indies falling off the cliff? India still struggles against England and Australia overseas, so they could not have gotten that much better(overseas record is definitely better since Sourav Ganguly's reign). Maybe someone can pour through the stats and come up with the answer.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 18, 2013, 3:37 GMT

    Though, as an Indian, I am extremely delighted for Shami, I felt really sorry for Windies' batsmen to see their middle-stumps getting consistently knocked back by him. I'm not sure what's wrong with Windies cricket. With past players like Viv, Greenidge, Haynes, Lloyd, Logie, Holding, Garner, Roberts, Dujon, Walsh, Ambrose, LARA, Bishop, Hooper and...........a foreigner like me can't be too wrong to conclude that the Windies youngsters have the greatest university of cricket right in their backyard. What's happening Dear Caribbean Brothers? It's a shame that only Chanders wants to put a price on his wicket. It's a shame that he is always under the pump by the WICB. It's an even bigger shame to see a Windies youngster badmouth him for a runout in the recent series. I can't imagine, even in my dreams, any of our Indian youngsters to badmouth Sachin, Dravid, VVS and Ganguly in a similar situation. Learn from the Legends of the past and learn from the present Legend in your team.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 18, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    Even for an Indian like me, the state of the WI Cricket is very sad. Very unfortunate. Kirk Edwards fared so well in the 2011 series. I don't know why he isn't in the squad this time. Marlon is a fantastic player. Where's the application and the willingness to look ugly and scratchy, if needed, for a couple of sessions or the whole day? How many times haven't we seen Dravid and Sachin look so ugly, especially Dravid, for a couple of sessions when the bowlers were on song. Just hang in there for dear life, should be the motto in the head. I don't know why that should be such a difficult motto to have in your head. Not everyone is a Viv or a Lara to constantly dominate bowlers. Even the mighty Lara toned down his stroke-play and stood between an Indian win and a draw in 2006. If Lara can be prepared to tone himself down during adversity, there is no shame for lesser mortals to look ugly and determined. Flair is great. But results are greater.

  • bajan0123 on November 18, 2013, 0:02 GMT

    I hope to see Roach, Edwards, Best, Cummings and Holder as the WI attack on the future tours. I am also looking forward to Kraig Brathwaite on the future touring team. Ramdin need to be drop permanently and Walton take over the wicket keeping duties. The WI have the talent pool but the selectors need do they part in selecting the best players. My WI team would be: GAYLE, POWELL,K. EDWARDS (capt), BRAVO, SAMUEL, CHANDERPAUL, WALTON (wkt), SHILLINGFORD, ROACH ,F. EDWARDS, BEST. CUMMINGS, HOLDER, BRATHWAITE, FOUNDAIN.

  • bajan0123 on November 17, 2013, 23:35 GMT

    I would like to know who the selectors are and what is they thought process. Going into a series on wickets where you need to bat for long periods and put up big scores, the selectors decided not to included an extra batsman or another specialist spinner. The WI selectors should have played six batsmen in both games of this test series. I don't know why Kirk Edwards keep getting the cold shoulder from the selectors because he should be the WI number three batsmen. He can bat better than Gayle, Powell, Bravo, Samuel and Deonarine. I think Kirk Edwards should be the WI captain. The selectors need to hold players accountable for the performances. The performance standard is obviously not the same for all the players and that's the reason Kirk is not playing. Gabriel and Cotterell should not have been playing because they have not proven they worth in the Caribbean domestic competition. Neither of them have bowled consistently well so far in they career. I hope Fidel get well soon.

  • BRUTALANALYST on November 17, 2013, 23:23 GMT

    Kraigg Brathwaite and Kirk Edwrads are the 2 most solid batsman in the West Indies set up that can actually occupy the crease Edwards scored 2 centuries for West Indies A durng the India A tour I'm not sure how Powell and Bravo get in the side ahead of him with their consistent failures and lack of discipline. It's not just that they are failing it's the mannor as for the "maturity"Sammy spoke of, Bravo after strugling to make runs ran himself out in the first Test and walked off the field looking back cussing WI senior Chanderpaul as if it was his fault demonstrating his lack of respect and responsibility (the 2 tennents of maturity & vital factors needed to become a Test player) he should have been fined and dropped for this can you imagine an Indian youngster cursing out Dravid Laxman or Sachin ? NO even if it wasn't there fualt it's unlikely.Sammy also seem happy beating a weak NZ but I back full strength NZ in NZ to whitewash this sorry excuse of a Team unless changes r made !

  • noplay on November 17, 2013, 23:21 GMT

    All WI players, officials, advisors, journalists and union reps should taken an oath of silence for one year. If that fails, they should take a sabbatical for four years. With their mouths shut, they will develop keenness of other senses.

  • on November 17, 2013, 22:09 GMT

    Chanders is a class act ??? is that why he takes a single off either the first or second ball of the over and leaves the tail ender to fight on without advice ??? Rohit, 25 ( to Chanders' 39 ) , playing in only his second test ( Chanders 150 ) showed Chanders how to bat with a number eleven by adding 80 with Shami. At one point Shami had scored only 1 run. During the partnership Rohit went from 46 to 111 !!!! Chanders and ALL the WI batsmen should take a lesson from Rohit !!

  • on November 17, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    People say Sammy can't inspire because he doesn't perform. Did Lara,Gayle,Chanders,Sarwan ever win alot when they were captains? Answer me that. You have to have good players. If you set an offside field with two slips and tell a bowler to pitch it up and he bowls a short ball what can you do?

  • WILAD on November 17, 2013, 19:35 GMT

    Who can be braught in that is much better? What opener better than Gayle? There is no batsman in regional cricket constantly hitting hundreds and fifties and knocking down the door to be selected. Any names suggestion by fans are not spectacular replacements. It's like replacing stones with rocks. Who can average more than Bravo? Ramdin average higher than any keeper in the WI. Some people calling for Dwane Smith for instance. A guy that average 24 in tests and 16 in ODIs. We have a group of players that are just hitting a bad piece of form at the same time. Have to stick with them because there is nothing better. Only Brathwaite I would consider.

  • on November 17, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    Everyone talking about the A team. The A team was playing against India A team players. The only test player in the India side scored a triple hundred on them. You think Nikita miller with his gun barrel straight spin will get any India batsman out? Rather see Narine with Shllingford. On pitches in India you need more than bowlers bowling fast. You need Rampaul, Roach and young bowlers like Cummings and Holder who can move the ball. Look at B.Kumar bowling at 80mph but getting wickets because he does somethig with the ball. Philander and Anderson are top bowlers but aren't the quickest. They move the ball and put it in right areas.

  • Chan1966 on November 17, 2013, 18:03 GMT

    I think the West Inies A team is better than the test team. Chanders is a class act. He averaged 44 while other's have single digit averages. When Chanders comes to the middle (already 4 wkts fallen) there is no one in the team can help Chanders to get some runs. He's not a batsman of the calibre of great Viv Richards yet if someone can helps him in the middle he can get enough runs on the board. He needs someone like Brendon Nash (He is still 34+ and can play another 4 to 5 years like Chanders. Nash had scored 1103 runs at an average of 33.41 in 21 matches). I still don't understand why Nash was axed from the side as he is still better than the others(exceot for Chanders). The main spoiler is Ottis Gibson. Bring back Clive Lloyd as the coach and let him do the selection. Drop Sammy from the side and give that place to Dwayne Bravo. Feilding coach must be Augus Logie and the batting coach should be Larry Gomez. If you don't take necessary actions right noe=w WI cricket is finished.

  • Advanced_Donkeys on November 17, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    After beating Sri Lankans in their own soil at T20 finals, this man Sammy became a boaster. In every pre-series talk he mentioned "We are the world champions..blah..blah..". But mr.Sammy, It was merely a T20 victory over a country who never knew how to win a final after 1996. Hope you learned a good lesson.Don't talk too big.It's easier said than done.

  • on November 17, 2013, 17:38 GMT

    agree completely with Lloyd ... in those days when not on national duty the WI bowlers honed their skills over long county stints in England and hence matured into world beaters...WI actually have great potential in their bowling stocks - roach best cottrell gabriel holder narine shillingford etc... if only the WICB can arrange chances for the players to play first class cricket abroad and not some one off vacation it would be of great help.... IPL should be like an occasional sweet and not the full course meal!! Gayle is still a force to reckon provided he gets out of his t20 cloak! Gayle Powell bravo kirk Edwards chanderpaul ramdin deonarine shillingford/narine roach best holder is a combination worth trying ....and yes Sammy doesn't merit a place in a test side

  • MiddleStump on November 17, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    These fifteen players must consider themselves very fortunate to play for the West Indies. Had they been playing for India, most fans would be demanding the retirement of each and everyone from the game. After all, some have wanted Tendulkar to retire for the past two years simply because his average fell to the mid thirties.

  • on November 17, 2013, 15:37 GMT

    WI really need to consider bringing back RR Sarwan into the batting line-up. This is a player who is still in the prime of his career and who scored 291 against England not so long ago. He would really help to shore up a weak middle order and that is desperately needed at the moment.

  • on November 17, 2013, 15:33 GMT

    Selection is another problem. Deonarine and others are selected, when someone like Nikita Miller who troubled the India A Players having Pujara and all, was ignored. Was absolutely bizzare to leave him out of the team and select second rate spinners to accompany Shillingford to India knowing well about Indian pitches.

    Besides it was a disastrous batting performance by the batsmen for sure.

  • SamRoy on November 17, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    Talent-wise WI is nowhere near any decent test team. Unfortunately there are only 3 decent teams in world cricket at the moment. SA who are very good, England who are good and India who are decent. Even in this dearth of decent test teams WI are behind Australia and Pakistan in my book. WI don't have batsmen (barring Chanderpaul and Powell) with good footwork against either spin or swing as was evident in the series. And the fast bowlers don't know how to swing the ball. If you gun-barrel straight at 140-145 against good batsman (and all Indian batsman are superior to anyone in the WI team except Chanderpaul) you are going to get hammered and that's what happened.

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  • SamRoy on November 17, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    Talent-wise WI is nowhere near any decent test team. Unfortunately there are only 3 decent teams in world cricket at the moment. SA who are very good, England who are good and India who are decent. Even in this dearth of decent test teams WI are behind Australia and Pakistan in my book. WI don't have batsmen (barring Chanderpaul and Powell) with good footwork against either spin or swing as was evident in the series. And the fast bowlers don't know how to swing the ball. If you gun-barrel straight at 140-145 against good batsman (and all Indian batsman are superior to anyone in the WI team except Chanderpaul) you are going to get hammered and that's what happened.

  • on November 17, 2013, 15:33 GMT

    Selection is another problem. Deonarine and others are selected, when someone like Nikita Miller who troubled the India A Players having Pujara and all, was ignored. Was absolutely bizzare to leave him out of the team and select second rate spinners to accompany Shillingford to India knowing well about Indian pitches.

    Besides it was a disastrous batting performance by the batsmen for sure.

  • on November 17, 2013, 15:37 GMT

    WI really need to consider bringing back RR Sarwan into the batting line-up. This is a player who is still in the prime of his career and who scored 291 against England not so long ago. He would really help to shore up a weak middle order and that is desperately needed at the moment.

  • MiddleStump on November 17, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    These fifteen players must consider themselves very fortunate to play for the West Indies. Had they been playing for India, most fans would be demanding the retirement of each and everyone from the game. After all, some have wanted Tendulkar to retire for the past two years simply because his average fell to the mid thirties.

  • on November 17, 2013, 17:38 GMT

    agree completely with Lloyd ... in those days when not on national duty the WI bowlers honed their skills over long county stints in England and hence matured into world beaters...WI actually have great potential in their bowling stocks - roach best cottrell gabriel holder narine shillingford etc... if only the WICB can arrange chances for the players to play first class cricket abroad and not some one off vacation it would be of great help.... IPL should be like an occasional sweet and not the full course meal!! Gayle is still a force to reckon provided he gets out of his t20 cloak! Gayle Powell bravo kirk Edwards chanderpaul ramdin deonarine shillingford/narine roach best holder is a combination worth trying ....and yes Sammy doesn't merit a place in a test side

  • Advanced_Donkeys on November 17, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    After beating Sri Lankans in their own soil at T20 finals, this man Sammy became a boaster. In every pre-series talk he mentioned "We are the world champions..blah..blah..". But mr.Sammy, It was merely a T20 victory over a country who never knew how to win a final after 1996. Hope you learned a good lesson.Don't talk too big.It's easier said than done.

  • Chan1966 on November 17, 2013, 18:03 GMT

    I think the West Inies A team is better than the test team. Chanders is a class act. He averaged 44 while other's have single digit averages. When Chanders comes to the middle (already 4 wkts fallen) there is no one in the team can help Chanders to get some runs. He's not a batsman of the calibre of great Viv Richards yet if someone can helps him in the middle he can get enough runs on the board. He needs someone like Brendon Nash (He is still 34+ and can play another 4 to 5 years like Chanders. Nash had scored 1103 runs at an average of 33.41 in 21 matches). I still don't understand why Nash was axed from the side as he is still better than the others(exceot for Chanders). The main spoiler is Ottis Gibson. Bring back Clive Lloyd as the coach and let him do the selection. Drop Sammy from the side and give that place to Dwayne Bravo. Feilding coach must be Augus Logie and the batting coach should be Larry Gomez. If you don't take necessary actions right noe=w WI cricket is finished.

  • on November 17, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    Everyone talking about the A team. The A team was playing against India A team players. The only test player in the India side scored a triple hundred on them. You think Nikita miller with his gun barrel straight spin will get any India batsman out? Rather see Narine with Shllingford. On pitches in India you need more than bowlers bowling fast. You need Rampaul, Roach and young bowlers like Cummings and Holder who can move the ball. Look at B.Kumar bowling at 80mph but getting wickets because he does somethig with the ball. Philander and Anderson are top bowlers but aren't the quickest. They move the ball and put it in right areas.

  • WILAD on November 17, 2013, 19:35 GMT

    Who can be braught in that is much better? What opener better than Gayle? There is no batsman in regional cricket constantly hitting hundreds and fifties and knocking down the door to be selected. Any names suggestion by fans are not spectacular replacements. It's like replacing stones with rocks. Who can average more than Bravo? Ramdin average higher than any keeper in the WI. Some people calling for Dwane Smith for instance. A guy that average 24 in tests and 16 in ODIs. We have a group of players that are just hitting a bad piece of form at the same time. Have to stick with them because there is nothing better. Only Brathwaite I would consider.

  • on November 17, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    People say Sammy can't inspire because he doesn't perform. Did Lara,Gayle,Chanders,Sarwan ever win alot when they were captains? Answer me that. You have to have good players. If you set an offside field with two slips and tell a bowler to pitch it up and he bowls a short ball what can you do?