April 13, 2014

The Bravo and Powell challenge

Two talented young West Indies batsmen, full of promise when they arrived on the scene, are in danger of falling by the wayside
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While the high-flying T20 stars were in Dhaka, mounting their eventual anti-climactic defence of the world title joyously won in Colombo two years earlier, Darren Bravo and Kieran Powell were back in the Caribbean, watched by a couple of nut-sellers and a smattering of diehards in the understated first-class tournament, seeking to restore long-held expectations that they are two future pillars of West Indies' batting.

Bravo, at 25, is a year older than Powell. Both are left-handers who carry the unmistakable stamp and effortless evidence of class. The heady hopes around them are based on previous performance, Bravo's more so than Powell's.

It is recent inconsistency and, in Bravo's case, a hint of personal distraction, that is cause for concern. So too are their struggles since the last international series against India and New Zealand to rediscover their best in the inter-territorial and international 50-overs format in February and March and in the subsequent four-day contests now entering their run-up to semi-final qualification.

Bravo's match-saving 218 against New Zealand in Dunedin in December was, by some distance, the longest of his five Test hundreds, of which two have been in Bangladesh, two in India. It spanned over nine and three-quarter hours, occupied 416 balls and halted a sequence of eight innings without a fifty. It seemed reconfirmation of Steve Waugh's early prediction that Bravo "is world cricket's next superstar, no doubt."

A few days later, a wrist injury ruled him out of the next Test - just the third he has missed in the 27 since his debut in Sri Lanka, in November 2010 (eye problems accounted for his absence from the other two in the home series against the Black Caps 18 months earlier).

Within three weeks, he abandoned New Zealand and headed back to Trinidad for "personal reasons". They were unexplained and, given his subsequent shortage of runs, inevitably fanned speculation as to what they were.

In 18 innings in the Caribbean over the past three months (five in the Pro50, four in ODIs against Ireland and England, nine first-class), he has passed 50 twice, 69 his highest. He has simply been a shadow of the player he was and surely can be once again.

The return home of his elder half-brother, Dwayne, immediately after the World T20 was bound to be of comfort, but Dwayne is soon off again for another season in the IPL. His celebrated cousin, Brian Lara, is always near at hand to offer encouragement and advice. No book research is required to make the connection with Lara. Born in the same Santa Cruz area of north Trinidad 20 years after the most entertaining batsman of his generation, the similarity stretches beyond their left-handedness. There is an unmistakable physical and facial likeness; Bravo's mannerisms at the crease and his strong, elegant off-side strokeplay repeatedly cause us commentators to stifle the inevitable Lara identification.

Their identical records after their first 12 Tests was stuff for "Ripley's Believe It or Not" - 941 runs, average 47.05.

The insatiable Lara then went into overdrive to end with more runs (11,912) and more hundreds (34) than any other West Indian and, of course, his unimaginable 400 not out record. Inevitably, Bravo hasn't kept that kind of pace. A high average of 52.5 after 13 Tests has slipped to 44.68 after 27, useful but undoubtedly less than his capability. There is no question that he will be slotted in at No. 4 for the three Tests in June against a patently stronger, more united, better-led New Zealand than the team beaten in both Tests and four of the five ODIs on their 2012 visit. He is simply too good not to be.

Even so, time is running out for him to put together a major innings or two in Trinidad & Tobago's remaining matches - three if they get to the final - that would stimulate the self-belief presently lacking. Nor is it in the short term that West Indies cricket needs him; he is young enough to look forward to at least another ten years as the batting leader once the over-30s, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels, depart.

Powell's case is based on less persuasive data than Bravo's; his average after 20 Tests since his debut against India in Roseau in 2011 is, well, average, 28.21. The first of his three hundreds, 134 against New Zealand in Antigua in 2012, was in an opening partnership of 254 with Gayle; two more followed two Tests later against Bangladesh in Dhaka, one in each innings. It placed him among giants of West Indian batting who had done the same - Headley and Walcott (each twice), Weekes, Sobers, Kanhai, Rowe, Greenidge. Optimism was understandably high; it swiftly waned in his next 15 innings, the highest 48.

While his scores for the Leeward Islands have perked up in the current domestic first-class season (four over 50 in eight innings, the highest 91), team coach Ridley Jacobs, the former Test keeper, has let him know in no uncertain terms that he expects more from him.

"He has a lot of work to do," Jacobs said leading into the last qualifying round match against 2013 champions Barbados. "He has not been what we are looking for at times, not very consistent, and that is what we are looking for from the top and from the captain. He needs to be consistent in every aspect, catching, batting, just everything."

It was a warning in flashing lights for the sixth Test player from the tiny island of Nevis (108 square miles, population 13,000). Other top-order batsmen offer the selectors alternatives for the Tests against the Black Caps. The strongest is 29-year-old Kirk Edwards, whose 12 Tests have brought him two hundreds and an average of 35.6; his case is bolstered by two hundreds in four innings for Barbados this season.

The challenge now for Powell, and for Bravo, is of character rather than ability. The outcome is critical to West Indies at a time of scarcity of quality young batsmen.

Tony Cozier has written about and commentated on cricket in the Caribbean for 50 years

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • creekeetman on April 18, 2014, 21:58 GMT

    WI fans fail to realise that the wealth of talent that once existed has now dried up. Apart from chanders, they lack batsmen capable of staying at the crease and building big innings. Pace bowling that was feared around the world is now represented by mediocre bowlers like best, Gabriel, fidel Edwards etc, roach is the best WI have, and he wouldn't make the first team on any of the top 4 test nations. There is also no keeper/batsman better than ramdin who is barely average. Whats ironic is that there are actually a couple decent spin bowlers around, that was once WI weakest area... all in all WI are slightly better than b'desh and Zimbabwe, when chanders leaves it will be even worse. WI fans need to accept this and be content with the mediocrity that exists, because there is no light at the end of the tunnel, regardless of who the manager or captain is.

  • Sevarino on April 15, 2014, 14:37 GMT

    Drop Sammy, Promote Ramdin, Drop Ramdin, bring back Bravo. Make up your mind WI people. Who are the players selected to replace Gayle, Chanderpaul and Samuels? Darren Bravo, Powell, Simmons, Holder,Beaton, Rampaul, Bishoo, Narine, Pollard, Ramdin, Roach, Brathwaite. These players given there faults and shortcomings are the nextgen like it or not the WICB and we West Indians need to show more support to these players. Play @ matches fail drop, oh he looks good, fail drop. I was looking forward to 12 rounds of matches for the 4 day tournament home and away. Another short season by the time NZ & BAN arrive the players will be well rested and out of form and the IPL stars are still in T20 mode. Well done WICB.

  • mrhamilton on April 14, 2014, 23:34 GMT

    Sammys stats don't tell the full picture.everyone talks about his batting but it's his bowling that's deteriorated.I would keep him as captain as despite his lowly stats he does contribute meaningful innings,he's an anomoly of stats.he really should improve his fielding too,despite being the best windian " leader" since Richie richardson,his dropped catches have cost them against India in 2011 and 2012. Until the youngsters come through my team Gayle, Powell,sarwan,bravo jnr,chanderpaul,Samuels,ramdin,sammy,narine,roach,best.

  • yoadie on April 14, 2014, 23:33 GMT

    In addition to drafting and nurturing future West Indies cricketers in his net, the new director of West Indies cricket needs to ask: `Why do so many promising West Indies cricketers - and I can name many - who, once seemingly set, fall off the radar? It's also worth noting, that despite what's said, the cricket manager's tour report - including the last generated after the West Indies tour of New Zealand - still enjoys the highest security clearance document, of any, in all of the Caribbean, if not, in all of the world. Nobody, except a privileged few, knows what transpires on tours. And so, with no public knowledge, we roll from one failed senior cricket tour, to the next.

  • mrhamilton on April 14, 2014, 23:21 GMT

    The 2000-2003 class of Gayle,reon king,franklyn rose ,marlon Samuels,bravo and,Fidel Edwards,tino best,sarwan, and others had tremendous talent,they just didn't have the pride,unity,consistency and work ethic of the stars of the 70s and 80s.conversely the newcomers now don't seem to have the talent of the 2000-2003 bunch.the seeds of disunity were planted during the sudden collapse in 1997 and the Lara era.Ambrose,walsh,Adams and Lara himself kept Windies respectable till the summer of 2000, but if these players above had stepped up to the plate early on,particularly king,rose,and if Carl Hooper had been present throughout 98-2003 perhaps Windies cricket would have remained a world power up to today

  • Speng on April 14, 2014, 12:53 GMT

    This upcoming tour by the Kiwis will be a marker of the progress (regress?) of the Windies vs the New Zealanders since the last time they visited in 2012. The fixtures seem strange as they show 3 tests and 2 T20Is but no ODIs. With the World Cup next year and NZ being a good limited overs team you would have thought some would be on.

  • kelbov on April 14, 2014, 12:49 GMT

    This is an excellent article, Darren Bravo has reached the point where he needs to be drooped for a maybe 6 months. He needs to go away and play some cricket. Work on his game, his temperament, and his mind. i just dont want the west indies to make the same mistakes they make with a lot of good talent, i.e. leave them too long to fail. Further, he should be playing ODi cricket either, because currently he is definitely not good at it.

  • kentjones on April 14, 2014, 11:22 GMT

    Mr. Cozier, you are once again showing why you are one of the premier cricket analysts in the WI.The beauty of this article is not the just the problems simply with Mssrs. Powell and Bravo but the looming crisis in WI batting that is evidenced in the two young players.Solid batting technique travels farther and longer than batting form.Bravo and Powell are experiencing a reduction in their technique and is thus reflected in their low scores.The grave thing is that most of the WI batters with exception of Chanderpaul have suffered from a drop in technique.What do the others have in common that Chanders does not?Too much T20: the need for quick runs is greater than the need for proper technique, and the lure of big bucks is greater than representing WI. Gayle, Bharath, Simmons, Samuels, Bravo2 are obvious victims, but what about the dozens of young WI batters who are willing to sacrifice technique for power and strength and the chance to become millionaires over night.This is WI problem!

  • Cool_Jeeves on April 14, 2014, 6:13 GMT

    If West Indies makes a selection into a 15 member test squad compulsory to represent West Indies in any format, including T20, then automatically test selection and cricket will become competitive.

  • Ozcricketwriter on April 14, 2014, 1:39 GMT

    Darren Bravo looks to be a test match specialist, and I am sure he will slot back into the test team. As for Powell, he isn't quite at international standard at the moment.

  • creekeetman on April 18, 2014, 21:58 GMT

    WI fans fail to realise that the wealth of talent that once existed has now dried up. Apart from chanders, they lack batsmen capable of staying at the crease and building big innings. Pace bowling that was feared around the world is now represented by mediocre bowlers like best, Gabriel, fidel Edwards etc, roach is the best WI have, and he wouldn't make the first team on any of the top 4 test nations. There is also no keeper/batsman better than ramdin who is barely average. Whats ironic is that there are actually a couple decent spin bowlers around, that was once WI weakest area... all in all WI are slightly better than b'desh and Zimbabwe, when chanders leaves it will be even worse. WI fans need to accept this and be content with the mediocrity that exists, because there is no light at the end of the tunnel, regardless of who the manager or captain is.

  • Sevarino on April 15, 2014, 14:37 GMT

    Drop Sammy, Promote Ramdin, Drop Ramdin, bring back Bravo. Make up your mind WI people. Who are the players selected to replace Gayle, Chanderpaul and Samuels? Darren Bravo, Powell, Simmons, Holder,Beaton, Rampaul, Bishoo, Narine, Pollard, Ramdin, Roach, Brathwaite. These players given there faults and shortcomings are the nextgen like it or not the WICB and we West Indians need to show more support to these players. Play @ matches fail drop, oh he looks good, fail drop. I was looking forward to 12 rounds of matches for the 4 day tournament home and away. Another short season by the time NZ & BAN arrive the players will be well rested and out of form and the IPL stars are still in T20 mode. Well done WICB.

  • mrhamilton on April 14, 2014, 23:34 GMT

    Sammys stats don't tell the full picture.everyone talks about his batting but it's his bowling that's deteriorated.I would keep him as captain as despite his lowly stats he does contribute meaningful innings,he's an anomoly of stats.he really should improve his fielding too,despite being the best windian " leader" since Richie richardson,his dropped catches have cost them against India in 2011 and 2012. Until the youngsters come through my team Gayle, Powell,sarwan,bravo jnr,chanderpaul,Samuels,ramdin,sammy,narine,roach,best.

  • yoadie on April 14, 2014, 23:33 GMT

    In addition to drafting and nurturing future West Indies cricketers in his net, the new director of West Indies cricket needs to ask: `Why do so many promising West Indies cricketers - and I can name many - who, once seemingly set, fall off the radar? It's also worth noting, that despite what's said, the cricket manager's tour report - including the last generated after the West Indies tour of New Zealand - still enjoys the highest security clearance document, of any, in all of the Caribbean, if not, in all of the world. Nobody, except a privileged few, knows what transpires on tours. And so, with no public knowledge, we roll from one failed senior cricket tour, to the next.

  • mrhamilton on April 14, 2014, 23:21 GMT

    The 2000-2003 class of Gayle,reon king,franklyn rose ,marlon Samuels,bravo and,Fidel Edwards,tino best,sarwan, and others had tremendous talent,they just didn't have the pride,unity,consistency and work ethic of the stars of the 70s and 80s.conversely the newcomers now don't seem to have the talent of the 2000-2003 bunch.the seeds of disunity were planted during the sudden collapse in 1997 and the Lara era.Ambrose,walsh,Adams and Lara himself kept Windies respectable till the summer of 2000, but if these players above had stepped up to the plate early on,particularly king,rose,and if Carl Hooper had been present throughout 98-2003 perhaps Windies cricket would have remained a world power up to today

  • Speng on April 14, 2014, 12:53 GMT

    This upcoming tour by the Kiwis will be a marker of the progress (regress?) of the Windies vs the New Zealanders since the last time they visited in 2012. The fixtures seem strange as they show 3 tests and 2 T20Is but no ODIs. With the World Cup next year and NZ being a good limited overs team you would have thought some would be on.

  • kelbov on April 14, 2014, 12:49 GMT

    This is an excellent article, Darren Bravo has reached the point where he needs to be drooped for a maybe 6 months. He needs to go away and play some cricket. Work on his game, his temperament, and his mind. i just dont want the west indies to make the same mistakes they make with a lot of good talent, i.e. leave them too long to fail. Further, he should be playing ODi cricket either, because currently he is definitely not good at it.

  • kentjones on April 14, 2014, 11:22 GMT

    Mr. Cozier, you are once again showing why you are one of the premier cricket analysts in the WI.The beauty of this article is not the just the problems simply with Mssrs. Powell and Bravo but the looming crisis in WI batting that is evidenced in the two young players.Solid batting technique travels farther and longer than batting form.Bravo and Powell are experiencing a reduction in their technique and is thus reflected in their low scores.The grave thing is that most of the WI batters with exception of Chanderpaul have suffered from a drop in technique.What do the others have in common that Chanders does not?Too much T20: the need for quick runs is greater than the need for proper technique, and the lure of big bucks is greater than representing WI. Gayle, Bharath, Simmons, Samuels, Bravo2 are obvious victims, but what about the dozens of young WI batters who are willing to sacrifice technique for power and strength and the chance to become millionaires over night.This is WI problem!

  • Cool_Jeeves on April 14, 2014, 6:13 GMT

    If West Indies makes a selection into a 15 member test squad compulsory to represent West Indies in any format, including T20, then automatically test selection and cricket will become competitive.

  • Ozcricketwriter on April 14, 2014, 1:39 GMT

    Darren Bravo looks to be a test match specialist, and I am sure he will slot back into the test team. As for Powell, he isn't quite at international standard at the moment.

  • Lordcam on April 13, 2014, 23:31 GMT

    The Talent we had once ago in the Caribbean has disintegrated. We have a bunch of mediocre and very inconsistent players now.

  • on April 13, 2014, 21:55 GMT

    Tony Cozier has always addressed his case with indepth thought and analytitical precision.

    My two cents will be to promote Ramdin to captain and keep Santokie/Rampaul .Best is not a candidate for the opening slot

    Aslim Khan..New York USA

  • on April 13, 2014, 20:33 GMT

    quite frankly, Gayle samuels and Sammy are all holding back the team. Samuels averages are very ordinary for a senior player and Gayle is just too old and doesn't have technique like a Hussey or Kallis to fall back on and his mediocre stats for such an overrated player reflects that

  • on April 13, 2014, 20:23 GMT

    Adrian Barath has deteriorated to the point that he gets 20s and 30s then gets out, usually to the same type of delivery playing the same shot. his technical flaws have been ruthlessly exploited by any team he plays.

  • tutorial on April 13, 2014, 18:21 GMT

    I don't think that Powell is a 100% ready to open the batting in test but he is a great prospect for the future giving another year or two in first class cricket, Simmons is a good choice to open with Gayle, if Gayle continues to be his lazy self drop him permanently. Selectors and Gibson should swallow their pride and get Sarwan in the team, no one should assumed that a player career is over after all the guy is 33 years old,this mind set of assuming when put into action is called (dictated thinking), as in the case with Shiv and t20 cricket. Beaton is a very good prospect for the future but should be giving to Ambrose to coached not Gibson please. One of the problems WI. cricket is having is, as soon as a young player score a 100 or take a few wickets in first class cricket everyone wants to push them in WI team instead of looking for consistency e.g. Pooran, people are talking about replacing Ramdin what nonsense. Wait for consistency that is how you determine a great player.

  • on April 13, 2014, 17:21 GMT

    Its weird how the author has mentioned the departure of Gayle, Samuels and Chanderapaul will leave a big hole. Of the three the only batsman who will really be missed will be Shiv Chanderapaul. Gayle and Samuels on the other hand have not only deteriorated but have become bad examples for others in the team. All they're good at now is smashing some balls out of the park in t20s and even that only on their day. In fact Gayle and Samuels have performed pathetically even in the just concluded WT20, this is what happens when tests are given the back seat, you start faltering as a cricketer.

  • on April 13, 2014, 16:52 GMT

    Not sure how Bravo has been drawn into this. From an outsiders point of view he seems to be the one young West Indies batsman that you would NOT worry about! Whereas there is about ten other young blokes who are playing for or have played for the Windies over the last few years who look to be far from the finished article. Then there is the ever underperforming seniors, Chanderpaul being the exception of course.

    Again from the outside looking in you just wish that for the good of West Indies cricket that someone would come along and do for them what Lehmann has done for the Aussies or Kirsten did for South Africa, bringing all the pieces of the puzzle together and putting a strongest possible xi out on the field.

  • Copernicus on April 13, 2014, 15:41 GMT

    Does anyone know what happened to Adrian Barath? I recall him scoring a brilliant century against Australia where he looked a quality player, but he just seems to have....vanished.

  • on April 13, 2014, 14:19 GMT

    WEST INDIES NEED 4 SPECIALIST BOWLERS each with something of different variety to keep the bowling fresh. Maybe 2/3 quicks (at least two swings/one very fast), a leg spinner (if possible) and off spinner. A team will be under constant pressure when faced by an attack with proper bowlers. On their day, Bravo and Sammy can take a bagful of wickets but relying on guys bowling 75-80 miles per hour at world class batsmen to take wickets will only work in places like England consistently, if the ball nibbles. If Sammy/DJ Bravo must be in the team, then maybe he should be played as #6 batsman, next to the keeper. The keeper is an extremely talented batsman - rarely troubled by bowling. Unfortunately, he gets himself out by shot selection. is good at rotating the strike and can hog the stroke away from the bowlers to extend the score. The mind must use the talent. There is poor planning, preparation and execution of skills. Ridley Jacobs scored with limited talent. Other countries do too!

  • on April 13, 2014, 13:43 GMT

    I agree with Emanual Cummings. Sammy is not a test cricketer but usefull limited overs cricketer. Barath...what happened to him? Bravo Darren must forget about trying to be next Lara...only 1 BC Lara. He is a good player but not a genius like Lara. Forget about Tino Best. Roach is leader of the attack. I am not impressed with Delorn Johnson and Shannon Gabriels...decent pace but against South Africa they will need more than pace to be effective. Dwsyne Bravo must come back to test cricket. I cant wait to see Windies back in South Africa later this year. I am a huge fan and still hope for a huge improvement in West Indies cricket.

  • on April 13, 2014, 13:36 GMT

    Alot of runs have been scored in this seasons WI tournament and but players not known for scoring runs. We will see what happens. Miller is no where as good a Shillingford. Miller bowls flat and straight and batsmen will pat that away all day. Shane gets bounce and turn which is the fundamental difference. Brathwaite has done wll by batting 7 hours for 80 runs in substandard cricket equates to 20 runs in test cricket before the inevitable good ball which is far more frequent at that level gets you.

  • on April 13, 2014, 13:11 GMT

    WI needs to relook at the entire composition. That includes Samuels and Gayle. Both stalwarts no doubt but of late they have struggled in all formats. The bowling too is Terribly inconsistent. Except in ODIs and T20s Sammy has no role in Tests. But will the WI selectors bite the bullet?

  • ilovetests on April 13, 2014, 13:05 GMT

    I wouldn't worry about Bravo; anyone who can score big hundreds in the subcontinent and against Southee and Boult can obviously play. The kid is a talent alright.

  • wirus on April 13, 2014, 10:41 GMT

    Cozier is on the ball. Yet there are 2 wider issues - team balance and batting position. 6 batsmen - Brathwaite, Edwards, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Chanderpaul (last series) and Gayle. 4 bowlers - as it's WI pitches it should be 2 spinners (there are about 10 to choose from) and 2 quicks - Taylor and Roach (if fit). Ramdin should be keeper and captain. Re batting positions Gayle can no longer be allowed to continue to fail as an opener. He should bat lower and if he continues to fail he must be dropped. My team would be 1. Brathwaite 2. Edwards 3. Darren Bravo 4. Dwayne Bravo 5. Chanderpaul 6. Gayle 7. Ramdin 8. Millar 9. Taylor 10. Shillingford 11. Roach / Gabriel / Holder. Dwayne Bravo has shown form and an attitude to buckle down of late and should be allowed another chance to show that he is a quality test batsman. His medium pace bowling can also be useful. Taylor's return means that the best fast bowler is again available. Gibson needs to go and the team needs to fight hard!

  • FOUR-REAL-QUICKS on April 13, 2014, 9:51 GMT

    Form is temporary, class is a permanent fixture. There are many more significant worries revolving around West Indian cricket than those concerning the two young batsmen featured in the article. Bravo just hit another 60-odd in the current match - he looked somewhere close to decent form to my eyes. And Powell is currently not out overnight against Barbados, having got another start. Maybe thes eguys read your article Mr.Cozier? :-) Youngsters like Brathwaite - with regional scores this season of 82,91,91 and 92 - total runs thus far 424 at an average of 47.11 and Kierin Powell, who has scores of 91,86,67 and 84 this season (and a total of 406 runs at 45.11) will be the mainstay at thetop of the order provided they receive addequate coaching and management. Guyana captain Leon Johnson is another who certainly needs a look, following his scores of 91 and 81 away to India A, his recent regional knocks of 110 and 78 should make the selectors take note. Kirk Edwards has also performed well

  • on April 13, 2014, 9:24 GMT

    Well written Mr.Cozier. West Indies do have some batsmen who possess class like Powell, Bravo, Braithwaite but somehow I don't understand whats happened to Adrian Barath. The tiny trinidadian burst on the scene, scored century on debut in Australia and scored one-day century in Sri Lanka too but just seems to have disappeared in the last yr and half. I think he was a prodigy and its a pity we don't see him in the reckoning at this juncture. I think the test match lineup should be 1) Gayle, 2) Powell, 3) Darren Bravo, 4) Marlon Samuels 5) Shiv Chanderpaul, 6) Dwayne Bravo/Pollard, 7) Ramdin, 8) Sammy, 9) Narine, 10) Kemar Roach, 11) Tino Best/Cottrell/Gabriel. Play Samuels, if you think he can lend off spin option or otherwise play Dwayne Bravo for his medium seam up.He is definately a good all-rounder who desperately needs to get back to test match cricket and will make a difference. At all points west indies should have 3 specialist bowlers, 1 bowling & batting allrounder.

  • jackmendel on April 13, 2014, 9:05 GMT

    WI not playing enough cricket that is challenging them. Too much meaningless limited overs cricket, that has no context in the rhythm of the cricking calendar. Need important series' to really fire people up..

  • Sir_Francis on April 13, 2014, 8:49 GMT

    Bravo averages over 44 in Tests. A lot higher than his FC ave (below 40). I don't see a problem there. And for someone like Cozier to equate limited overs innings with FC innings is quite sad. You'd think he would realise the difference. Basically, about 10 FC innings ago, Bravo scored a Test 200. Once again, I see no problem. I would point Mr. Cozier to the example of Aaron Finch who seems to be the darling of australian limited overs' fans but his FC average is below 28 even though he is nearly 28. He is barely a first grader on those stats.

    Bravo will be fine.

  • on April 13, 2014, 6:34 GMT

    I would not play Sammy in the Test team , he weakens the bowling attack since the WI cannot play 3 genuine fast bowlers . Bowlers for the test team should read, Roach, Holder , Beaton and Narine/Miller. Batsmen-Gayle, Braithwaite, Lil Bravo, Powell, Johnson and Chanderpaul with Ramdin as the keeper. The captain for the test team should be Ramdin . We should also change the coach and the chief selector between the 2 of them they played a total of 7 Test Matches with less than 15 wickets and 50 Runs in between the two of them . Sammy should only play T20 and 50 Overs

  • twistatwistaa on April 13, 2014, 6:10 GMT

    what now for bravo and powell ? work hard in nets and let there performance speak for them

  • Rally_Windies on April 13, 2014, 6:03 GMT

    I am glad to see that people outside the Caribbean think that WI 2 main spinners in tests should be Miller and Narine ... But What will it take for the incompetent WI selectors to figure that out ?

    Shillingford is a nice good guy and a good bowler ... But Miller is just better. And Miller has been better than Narine, Permaul, Bishoo for just about 5 years now !

    A guy can take 40 odd wickets at an average of 8 runs per wicket.... and have ZERO chance of playing Tests while a guy who has "a questionable action" getting 50 wickets at 14 runs per over is the "preferred" choice...

    at no point in Miller and Shillingford's careers has Shillingford ever showed that he is BETTER than Miller ...

    Yet Miller's entire test Career might read 1 game during the player strike 6 years ago ...

    The WI's selectors passion for DESTROYING the careers best cricketers in the region makes me HAPPY I gave up cricket to pursue higher learning !

  • on April 13, 2014, 5:55 GMT

    Let us see what the future brings.

  • siddhartha87 on April 13, 2014, 5:40 GMT

    the biggest problem with Powell is the inability to bat for a longer duration of time. He lose concentration as soon as scores 30-40 runs. Edawards,Bravo and Powell has the potential to carry the Indies top order for next 4-5 years. Another thing with Indies line up is sticking to Sammy as test captain. In tests you need proper cricketers. Not some one who scores 15-20 runs and balls 10-12 overs. If Sammy plays he needs to improve his batting and start batting at no 6.Ideal test XI for them-

    1.Gayle 2.Powell 3. Edwards 4.Bravo 5.Chanderpaul 6.Samuels 7.Ramdin 8.Rampau/Millerl 9.Narine 10. Taylor 11.Roach

    If Sammy plays-

    1.Gayle 2.Powell 3.Bravo 4.Samuels 5.Chanderpaul 6. Ramdin 7.Sammy 8.Rampau/Millerl 9.Narine 10. Taylor 11.Roach

  • on April 13, 2014, 3:48 GMT

    pooran needs to start being groomed as the replacement for ramdin, but apart from a couple of bowlers they really need to add some spine and courage

  • JoshFromJamRock on April 13, 2014, 3:17 GMT

    No need to worry, these guys will slot in perfectly.

    If the selectors were to go with a "30&Under" team, this would more likely and should be it:

    1)Brathwaite 2)Powell 3)Edwards 4)Lil' Bravo 5)Dj Bravo 6)Ramdin 7)Sammy 8)Narine 9)Holder 10)Roach 11)Rampaul

    To be honest I don't see the value of Gayle or Samuels in the Test team. Their weaknesses are so obvious that even a toddler knows that Gayle will chase a outswinging/angle delivery and be caught at 2nd slip. Samuels weakness is that he gets bogged down so often that he causes himself and others to crumble under tight pressure resulting in him being stumped, bowled or his partner ran out. Sarwan isn't coming back and Shiv will retire next year.

    Young players I look forward to (apart from the named XI) are Pooran, Young Shiv, Beaton and Cummings. These 15 guys will carry WI cricket starting soon after the 2015 WC.

    BTW I believe Pollard will be the surprise package of future, in all formats. Just got that strange feeling.

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  • JoshFromJamRock on April 13, 2014, 3:17 GMT

    No need to worry, these guys will slot in perfectly.

    If the selectors were to go with a "30&Under" team, this would more likely and should be it:

    1)Brathwaite 2)Powell 3)Edwards 4)Lil' Bravo 5)Dj Bravo 6)Ramdin 7)Sammy 8)Narine 9)Holder 10)Roach 11)Rampaul

    To be honest I don't see the value of Gayle or Samuels in the Test team. Their weaknesses are so obvious that even a toddler knows that Gayle will chase a outswinging/angle delivery and be caught at 2nd slip. Samuels weakness is that he gets bogged down so often that he causes himself and others to crumble under tight pressure resulting in him being stumped, bowled or his partner ran out. Sarwan isn't coming back and Shiv will retire next year.

    Young players I look forward to (apart from the named XI) are Pooran, Young Shiv, Beaton and Cummings. These 15 guys will carry WI cricket starting soon after the 2015 WC.

    BTW I believe Pollard will be the surprise package of future, in all formats. Just got that strange feeling.

  • on April 13, 2014, 3:48 GMT

    pooran needs to start being groomed as the replacement for ramdin, but apart from a couple of bowlers they really need to add some spine and courage

  • siddhartha87 on April 13, 2014, 5:40 GMT

    the biggest problem with Powell is the inability to bat for a longer duration of time. He lose concentration as soon as scores 30-40 runs. Edawards,Bravo and Powell has the potential to carry the Indies top order for next 4-5 years. Another thing with Indies line up is sticking to Sammy as test captain. In tests you need proper cricketers. Not some one who scores 15-20 runs and balls 10-12 overs. If Sammy plays he needs to improve his batting and start batting at no 6.Ideal test XI for them-

    1.Gayle 2.Powell 3. Edwards 4.Bravo 5.Chanderpaul 6.Samuels 7.Ramdin 8.Rampau/Millerl 9.Narine 10. Taylor 11.Roach

    If Sammy plays-

    1.Gayle 2.Powell 3.Bravo 4.Samuels 5.Chanderpaul 6. Ramdin 7.Sammy 8.Rampau/Millerl 9.Narine 10. Taylor 11.Roach

  • on April 13, 2014, 5:55 GMT

    Let us see what the future brings.

  • Rally_Windies on April 13, 2014, 6:03 GMT

    I am glad to see that people outside the Caribbean think that WI 2 main spinners in tests should be Miller and Narine ... But What will it take for the incompetent WI selectors to figure that out ?

    Shillingford is a nice good guy and a good bowler ... But Miller is just better. And Miller has been better than Narine, Permaul, Bishoo for just about 5 years now !

    A guy can take 40 odd wickets at an average of 8 runs per wicket.... and have ZERO chance of playing Tests while a guy who has "a questionable action" getting 50 wickets at 14 runs per over is the "preferred" choice...

    at no point in Miller and Shillingford's careers has Shillingford ever showed that he is BETTER than Miller ...

    Yet Miller's entire test Career might read 1 game during the player strike 6 years ago ...

    The WI's selectors passion for DESTROYING the careers best cricketers in the region makes me HAPPY I gave up cricket to pursue higher learning !

  • twistatwistaa on April 13, 2014, 6:10 GMT

    what now for bravo and powell ? work hard in nets and let there performance speak for them

  • on April 13, 2014, 6:34 GMT

    I would not play Sammy in the Test team , he weakens the bowling attack since the WI cannot play 3 genuine fast bowlers . Bowlers for the test team should read, Roach, Holder , Beaton and Narine/Miller. Batsmen-Gayle, Braithwaite, Lil Bravo, Powell, Johnson and Chanderpaul with Ramdin as the keeper. The captain for the test team should be Ramdin . We should also change the coach and the chief selector between the 2 of them they played a total of 7 Test Matches with less than 15 wickets and 50 Runs in between the two of them . Sammy should only play T20 and 50 Overs

  • Sir_Francis on April 13, 2014, 8:49 GMT

    Bravo averages over 44 in Tests. A lot higher than his FC ave (below 40). I don't see a problem there. And for someone like Cozier to equate limited overs innings with FC innings is quite sad. You'd think he would realise the difference. Basically, about 10 FC innings ago, Bravo scored a Test 200. Once again, I see no problem. I would point Mr. Cozier to the example of Aaron Finch who seems to be the darling of australian limited overs' fans but his FC average is below 28 even though he is nearly 28. He is barely a first grader on those stats.

    Bravo will be fine.

  • jackmendel on April 13, 2014, 9:05 GMT

    WI not playing enough cricket that is challenging them. Too much meaningless limited overs cricket, that has no context in the rhythm of the cricking calendar. Need important series' to really fire people up..

  • on April 13, 2014, 9:24 GMT

    Well written Mr.Cozier. West Indies do have some batsmen who possess class like Powell, Bravo, Braithwaite but somehow I don't understand whats happened to Adrian Barath. The tiny trinidadian burst on the scene, scored century on debut in Australia and scored one-day century in Sri Lanka too but just seems to have disappeared in the last yr and half. I think he was a prodigy and its a pity we don't see him in the reckoning at this juncture. I think the test match lineup should be 1) Gayle, 2) Powell, 3) Darren Bravo, 4) Marlon Samuels 5) Shiv Chanderpaul, 6) Dwayne Bravo/Pollard, 7) Ramdin, 8) Sammy, 9) Narine, 10) Kemar Roach, 11) Tino Best/Cottrell/Gabriel. Play Samuels, if you think he can lend off spin option or otherwise play Dwayne Bravo for his medium seam up.He is definately a good all-rounder who desperately needs to get back to test match cricket and will make a difference. At all points west indies should have 3 specialist bowlers, 1 bowling & batting allrounder.