West Indies in New Zealand 2013-14

Captains' futures at stake in series

Darren Sammy and Brendon McCullum have both had moments to savour as captains at international level but the pair begin this contest with major questions hanging over them

Andrew McGlashan in Dunedin

November 30, 2013

Comments: 49 | Text size: A | A

Darren Sammy went wicketless on day two, India v West Indies, 1st Test, Kolkata, 2nd day, November 7, 2013
Darren Sammy's Test credentials, having already been removed as the ODI captain, were severely weakened during West Indies' horrendous performances in India © BCCI

Captains have plenty to think about before a Test series begins - media commitments, which XI to select and the decision at the toss among them - even before they get to their own performances. That combination of team and personal welfare has proved too much for many and that's why a captain whose form remains unaffected by the strains of captaincy is such a lauded and prized asset.

Brendon McCullum and Darren Sammy, the opposing leaders in the upcoming Test series which begins in Dunedin on Tuesday, have both had moments to savour as captains at international level but the pair begin this contest with major questions hanging over them.

McCullum, a player full of boldness and bravado, is suffering from a long-term crippling back condition, which forced him home from Bangladesh and means his future is likely to be a fitness, rather than form, issue. Sammy's Test credentials, having already been removed as the ODI captain, were severely weakened during West Indies' horrendous performances in India, with the defeat in Kolkata ending a run of six Test wins on the bounce.

Being turned over on the subcontinent is no disgrace, but it was the manner in which they folded with barely a whimper, after reducing India to 83 for 5 in Kolkata, that left an empty feeling. Sammy was at the forefront of the criticism for shots he played in the first innings of both Tests - caught in the deep off Pragyan Ojha in Kolkata and in a similarly reckless manner, second ball, in Mumbai off R Ashwin. 'Natural game' and 'counter-attacking' are vacuous defences for such shots when your team is in the mire.

The problem for Sammy is that the second part of his game, the seam bowling, is not standing up to scrutiny at Test level, either. The overall average of 35.66 is not a write-off, but unless a surface is green or made for nagging medium-pace (the latter was the case when he bowled West Indies to victory against Pakistan in Guyana and may also be the case in New Zealand), he is not a Test-class third seamer. His average rises to 39.94 from his 27 matches as captain. Neither is he a Test-class No. 6 (or even, at the moment, a 7 or 8). Therefore he is a captain being carried. In his last three Tests he has bowled a grand total of 40 overs and taken one wicket.

Sammy knows his recent returns are not enough. "I didn't have a good tour in India," he said. "I want to reassure myself as a Test captain and Test cricketer."

When he took over the role from Chris Gayle in 2010, he was not even a regular in the starting XI. West Indies needed someone to inspire and unite. Sammy, a man brim-full of passion, ticked those boxes. Six wins in six (and the World T20 title, albeit in a vastly different format where Sammy the allrounder is a more accommodated player) is not to be sniffed at; it is a more favourable return than New Zealand have enjoyed. But even in those Test matches, Sammy averaged 30 with the bat and, most tellingly, 55 with the ball.

Brendon McCullum works one through the gap, Bangladesh v New Zealand, 1st Test, Chittagong, day 1, October 9, 2013
Brendon McCullum last scored a Test century in 2010 © AFP

McCullum's Test record stands up to somewhat more scrutiny than Sammy's - although his last century, 225 against India, came in 2010 which is a vast gap for such a batsman. Handed the captaincy controversially when Ross Taylor was sacked last year, being bowled out in a session in Cape Town was a rough start, and laid a low base for improvement, but for a while there were signs that McCullum's way was working. New Zealand should have beaten England earlier this year which would have been their finest series victory since 2002 when they trounced India on homemade greentops, or arguably 1999 when they overcame England away.

Although the hundred continued to prove elusive for McCullum, the way he batted set a tone of defiance and determination. He scored three half-centuries against England, but the return series - in tougher batting conditions - did not see him pass 20. The recent Tests in Bangladesh have again been lean with 54 runs from three innings. He has recently admitted his back was causing him more problems than he let on.

Both McCullum and Sammy come across well when they talk. Sammy really does care, which may seem an odd thing to say about a sports captain but it has not always felt the way with some West Indian players, and McCullum freely admits he has to make the most of some meagre resources, which are made even thinner when he doesn't contribute significant runs.

McCullum was particularly impressive as a leader during the series against England and the Champions Trophy, but despite references to "trending" in the right direction their results remain much of a muchness. They had two Test wins in 2012, but one of those came against Zimbabwe at home, and have yet to register one in 2013 although Auckland came desperately close. The draws (two in 10 Tests last year and five in nine in 2013) suggest a team becoming harder to beat, but the Bangladesh series was hard to evaluate. The West Indies series will define their year.

McCullum remains one of the best six batsmen in New Zealand (although that is not a view shared by all) despite a failure to make to the most of his batting talent. Yet that fact, alone, highlights the struggle for world-class batsmen that Bruce Edgar, the new national selector, is trying to deal with.

If there is debate about a current captain, then what are the alternatives? From the New Zealand perspective there is a succession plan in place. Kane Williamson is the anointed one, but there will be a reluctance to burden him just as he is starting to settle into the demanding No. 3 role. His time will come, though, and perhaps sooner rather than later.

The alternatives to Sammy are even harder to pick out. For a moment it is tempting to suggest Dwayne Bravo, but he hasn't played a Test since 2010 and his batting and bowling numbers are actually worse than Sammy's.

Denesh Ramdin has leadership experience but is continually battling to retain his place and it's doubtful Shivnarine Chanderpaul wants it on his plate towards the end of his career. Kirk Edwards has led the A team but has been unconvincing at the top level, while Darren Bravo is another name that has been suggested. Sammy has become the Hobson's choice of West Indies cricket. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that this series could mark the end for two captains.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by delboy on (December 5, 2013, 2:00 GMT)

Darren now has a hatrick of not outs. He needs someone staying with him to convert these to centuries. If he can also bag three 5 wicket innings in NZ, he will go some way to answer his critics.

Posted by RAYKAY on (December 2, 2013, 0:39 GMT)

Is there someone in the WI camp trying to embarass Sammy, he sure does not fit as WI test captain, yes, always positive, correct attitude,good respect but what has he done with the bat and the ball, the cricketing world is looking at WI and asking the same question over and over, six straight win in test against who? and then the mighty India. Put back Sammy as captain of the shorter versions of the game and get a new skipper and a new coach. Its not working WI, try something new, we know you got a lot of good talent out there, get somebody with cricketing vision to motivate and mobilise.You have got the raw material, try Alex Ferguson he is available and might have some idaes.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2013, 22:11 GMT)

W.I. need to roll the dice the way South Africa did in 2003 when they selected Graeme Smith as captain to replace Shaun Pollock after he had played only 8 test matches. We all know how that appointment worked out. The two players that come to mind are Kieron Powell and daren bravo. They both are extremely talented, so it comes down to which one of them is more suited to the demands of leadership. Powell has captained the A team a bit, not sure of bravo's credentials.I hope a win in NZ does not distract from the fact that this change is critical to the W.I. having future success.

Posted by regofpicton on (December 1, 2013, 8:15 GMT)

Still, i'm really looking forward to the series. Two sides both struggling a little, both with some good players and both with loads of potential. It should be a really good contest . . .

Posted by regofpicton on (December 1, 2013, 6:49 GMT)

So Gnasher reckons McCullum was "particularly impressive" during the Champion's Trophy. I guess there must have been two Champions Trophy and i watched the wrong one. In the one I saw we scraped over the line to overhaul a low (to be blunt pathetic ) total by Sri Lanka 9 down, we were washed out of what looked like a losing situation against Austrlai, and we lost against England. And of course we didn't make the semis, where we used to be almost fulltime residents. McCullums contribution was 26 for twice out.

If this is "particularly impressive", what would mediocre failure look like? And he's got WORSE since then.Test average in BD 18; ODI average in BD 7.

If McCullum really is in trouble with his back he should take the opportunity to retire gracefully. The problem (as almost everyone can see) is that a failing captain and a failing coach need each other. New Zealand doesn't need either of them, but it seems we're stuck with them both for another 18 months .

Posted by chechong0114 on (December 1, 2013, 5:17 GMT)

I believe that drawn series should become a thing of the past, you either win a series or lose. Teams that are playing at home have home court advantage and must win because they have the home fans behind them however if they are held to a draw by the visiting team they must give up the cup to the visitors if they are the reigning champions. Something like this will add more meaning to a series there by earning more fan interest and may bring more fans into the stadiums on game day. Its worth a shot.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2013, 3:54 GMT)

i am looking forward to this series as NZ has been extremely hard to beat in the last 2 years, in fact their Home Record in the last 2 seasons has been 1 win, 5 draws,1 loss, with all 5 drawn tests against quality oposition in SA and England, and the only loss at home coming against SA, this NZ team must start this series given its in nz's conditions, only 5 west Indians played in the warm up game, and that Chris Gayle, one of the best players being out injured and the fact that West Indies have just come off being routed twice in india by an innings. so with all these factors taken into account, im expecting a 2-0 series win to NZ, with one of the tests to be a badly rain effected draw.

Posted by cricket42 on (December 1, 2013, 1:46 GMT)

It's hard to sack them both though, because they both have a natural talent and and can stun people even with one performance? Hard to say though!

Posted by PACERONE on (December 1, 2013, 1:33 GMT)

West Indies failures can be blamed on the selectors.The "A" team had fast bowlers that showed that they are capable of getting wickets even in India>These bowlers have been overlooked and others that keep making the same errors are picked.A wicketkeeper that is not producing still been picked.During the good years there was always wicket keepers who were considered better than the ones picked,but these wicketkeepers did not make make too many errors and produced with the bat.Time to make changes.

Posted by mikriket on (December 1, 2013, 1:21 GMT)

If McCullum doesn't a make decent score in the first test against WI, he's out ! Giving Williamson the captaincy this year will be no good for Williamson. So Taylor's the man (provided he makes runs) or what about Vetori

Posted by ilyas on (November 30, 2013, 23:10 GMT)

Windies have problems primarily of their making. Sammy has done a good job but the end is nigh for him as a test player as he is not good enough and is taking up a spot which one of the young quicks could take up. Additionally who are they grooming to be the next captain? It cannot be ramdin as he has proved he is not good enough with the bat when it really really matters. Samuels form has deserted him since his injury earlier in the year and anyone who suggests Dwayne Bravo obviously hasn't been watching him play over the last few years! Wi need to take a risk and the three I think should be considered are Darren bravo, keiron Powell and as an outsider Kirk Edwards, if his batting is up to scratch as the last thing WI need is another non-playing captain. Kirk has a chance of a spot, with Braithwaite, as it looks like Gayle's eyes are going along with his interest in test cricket. There is some real young talent in the WI and now is the time to utilise it. Don't look back, look forward

Posted by Bishop on (November 30, 2013, 22:55 GMT)

It has been said before, but McCullum the wicketkeeper/batsman is one of the finest players in the world. McCullum the batsman is not. It is a shame, because I do like his captaincy - he is proactive and attacking, and more importantly he seems to be a good leader of men. But unfortunately a struggling side like NZ can't afford the luxury of a specialist captain. When Ryder returns to test cricket, McCullum is the obvious one to make way.

Of course, this time last year I was lamenting the recall of Peter Fulton for the England series, and boy did he prove me wrong. I hope McCullum does too.

Posted by bbpp on (November 30, 2013, 22:45 GMT)

Nothing is drastically wrong with Sammy as captain. The main problem is that he cannot hold his place in the test team. He should retain the ODI and 20/20 captaincy but should not be in the WI test team. The young man is good for WI cricket and has shown a real positive never say die attitude and shows respect to everyone. As coach for WI team he would be excellent.

Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 22:27 GMT)

Well said brutalanalyst , a lot of peoples here and elsewhere are mainly insular and unobjective in their assumptions that Bravo senior will be a better or ideal captain than Sammy in the longer version of the game. No one is upset with a lot of these guys playing t-20 cricket in the different leagues around the world; however they are hardly available to play in more than 2 first class matches in the Caribbean as that clashes with their lucrative t-20 contracts.Yes the first class competition is not of the highest standards these days,but Bravo senior and others hardly played much first class cricket in the last 3-4 years, Bravo's stats at first class level is not overly impressive last year and some,even his batting and bowling stats at ODI and t-20 level is really just pathetic.Does anyone remember Pollard being selected for the West Indies A team tour to England a couple of years ago and he declined it to play in the English t-20 competition to secure his financial future ??

Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 22:26 GMT)

When i look at a captain i look for how he performed with bat, ball, field placement, making tactical change to sees the moment and how he handle the media. Sammy best suited for his personality and he get's along with everybody but just does not look the part. the camera doesn't do him justice compare to the likes of Smiths, Dhoni, Cook and Clarke who looks like leaders and performed like a leader should for their country. T20 short fun & gun i have no problem! Test cricket 5 day's to critique big problem..

Posted by 512fm on (November 30, 2013, 22:12 GMT)

"McCullum, a player full of boldness and bravado, is suffering from a long-term crippling back condition, which forced him home from Bangladesh and means his future is likely to be a fitness, rather than form, issue."

Well I would say his form would be just as much of an issue, the guy shouldn't be in the test team if we're to be perfectly honest. Hes only getting that spot because you can't drop the captain.

Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 22:08 GMT)

McCullum needs to go. He isn't up to Test standard, his captaincy hasn't won us a game and he doesn't keep wicket anymore. His spot would be better filled by someone like Jesse Ryder or Colin Munro.

Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 21:29 GMT)

yeah i agree Gagg, under mccullum this team has gone backwards from the test win under Taylor in SL a year ago, Ross Scored 3 centuries last year alone and is similar to M.Clarke as he goes out and performs and has a " follow me guys" effect, meanwhile McCullum has been useless, scoring his last century, 225 on a flat indian pitch over 3 years ago

Posted by StevieS on (November 30, 2013, 20:19 GMT)

Juvin Liji do you follow NZ cricket? McCullum has won absolutely nothing, Taylor won a test match in Sri Lanka and a test match in Australia for the fiirst time in decades. McCullum has only won us the wooden spoon.

Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 19:43 GMT)

ross taylors captaincy was very poor hes a defensive captain williamson need more exposure i agree mccullum is out of form but at present hes the right captain

Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 19:26 GMT)

Some Years ago South Africa made the bold move and hand the Inexperience Smith the Captaincy to everyone amazement and quite a few critics and we see how that turn out.. My suggestion is West Indies make the bold move and bring in young Brathwaite as captain and have Gayle bat down the order.. the kid has shown the ability to bat long, frankly he look to have the best test mentality of all the young players and he has leadership experience with the youth team..

Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 19:01 GMT)

West Indies need to get back to basics, show interest and patience. Like the good old days, the likes of Viv had so much pride..

Posted by Patchmaster on (November 30, 2013, 18:47 GMT)

Sammy is just too 'care free' the old West Indian attitude just doesn't cutit anymore in the modern game. Anyone can see that Sammy just doesn't care enough, try enough or get the bet out of his team. As for McCullum, I think it's time to bring Ross Taylor back.

Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 18:21 GMT)

Samuels is their next best choice with Darren Bravo as his second in command. What other choice do they have? They cannot afford to wait any longer as this will give them better options to choose their final 12. But, wait a minute, Hunte, Gibson and Butt cannot see as far as anyone can throw them !

Posted by Alexei on (November 30, 2013, 18:16 GMT)

Dwayne Bravo needs to prove that he is worthy of selection by playing sufficient FIRST CLASS MATCHES. Not T20's or ODI games where he constantly throws his wicket away. How many 4-day matches has he played since his last Test? Ramdin is the best man for the job when u look at everyone else in the current squad. Besides, the statistics show he is improving as a batsman, averaging 45 since the start of 2012 with some good knocks.. Way above his overrall avg of 25, not a big fan but he's what we have LOL. If Kirk Edwards can play all three matches this series and hit loads of runs then he will come into contention. I reckon Darren Bravo and Kieran Powell will be the captains in the future.

Posted by Jdevanesan on (November 30, 2013, 18:10 GMT)

@WI_kDoct, //WI bowlers has to learn to bowl a better line and length.// Nice advice but will Sammy heed to it? He is averaging around 40 as a captain with the ball. His success looks good because he played mediocre teams always (Weak NZ team in transition, Zim, Bang). Series against India showed that WI are way worse than where they were during the times of Lara. Last time when WI came here under Gayle they drew the series. I am waiting to see the series and what Improvements the team has made.

Posted by InsideHedge on (November 30, 2013, 17:50 GMT)

Poor Sammy, a quick look at WI's bowling line up tells you they are in for a real struggle. Their two best bowlers are the spinners.

One is under threat of being banned and will be reluctant to bowl his doosra moving fwd - it won't even surprise me if he returns from his action review with an order to stop bowling his doosra. The other has failed to fire in Tests but more importantly, neither will see the helpful wickets that were on offer in India.

That leaves a seriously mediocre pace attack. Roach is constantly injured and if reports are to be believed Fidel Edwards is now concentrating on a T20 career as his body can't hold up to the rigours of Test cricket.

There was an interesting video interview on this site where Steve Waugh opined that WI are the one team whose players are only interested in T20s that they really don't care for Tests. I have to agree. He rightfully pointed out that several of these players are already millionaires. I'll go further and say MULTI millionaires

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (November 30, 2013, 17:50 GMT)

Dwayne Bravo's not fit for any international format the series v India should show you that and he's the worst guy to be made captain in W.I recent history. He's totally irresponsible and lacklustre no one can take him seriously in world cricket the mode of his 3 dismissals v India were absolutely shocking I have no idea what some of you guys are watching thinking he would make a good Test captain he's not even fit for the ODI roll.

Posted by InsideHedge on (November 30, 2013, 17:45 GMT)

"New Zealand should have beaten England earlier this year which would have been their finest series victory since 2002 when they trounced India on homemade greentops, or arguably 1999 when they overcame England away."

Are you serious? Obv the away series victory was the finer of the two. I can't believe you're even considering the farcical 2002 series. NZ should have continued with the greentop strategy - albeit not as green - but instead started producing drop in wickets which produced DULL draws. Drop ins were bizarrely getting easier to bat on as the match progressed, the 5th day was the best day to bat!

Posted by 22many on (November 30, 2013, 17:45 GMT)

Seriously, if Brendon McCullum does rule himself of test cricket out due to injury, the captaincy must be handed back to Taylor. Williamson should be left to carry on finding his feet at international level as a batsman first and foremost. He certainly has the skill required to average in the high forties/fifties, and become one of New Zealands finest,but at present, averaging in the mid thirties says to me he is not fulfilling his potential. The last thing he ,or NZC needs, is him failing to kick on while having the burden of trying to lead a struggling team. NZC certainly doesn't need that problem either. Far better to bring back Taylor who has won tests matches as captain, and has proved he is someone who can produce heavily with the bat and lead from the front at test level. Give Williamson more time learning his skills..his time will come.

Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 17:43 GMT)

Sammy is not taking WI cricket seriously anymore after his call up to the IPL . Bravo never had the WI cricket at heart so it was a waste of time to hand him the leadership of any game . WI is being dealt with a "leadership crisis" which will remain void for years to come .

Posted by InsideHedge on (November 30, 2013, 17:39 GMT)

@WI_KDoct: Thank You for talking sense along with a few others. West Indies' performance under Lara and Gayle was far worse compared to Sammy, they also had better players in their side. WI's decline began when they still possessed the magnificent Walsh/Ambrose partnership.

Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 16:55 GMT)

Dwayne Bravohas a superior test record to Sammy. He average 31 with 3 test hundreds and has 86 test wickets at 39. He is a way better batsman and a way better bowler. do some fat checking before you talk one player up before another.

Posted by satspeare on (November 30, 2013, 16:36 GMT)

At the present time, the best candidate for WI captaincy (temporary) is Ramdin with Kirk Edwards as the vice captain and then Powell as his vice for test . Pollard captain for 50 overs and T20 with Sunil Narine as his vice captain. The future is considered here. These are a few players who can retain their places based on performances and hopefully the responsibility of leadership results in an elevation their performances. Too bad WICB seems to have permanently discarded Nash because I'd suggest him instead of Ramdin. Sarwan is by far the better test captain available but it's really unfortunate that his latest failures mean that he cannot even make the team. Same goes for Sammy and that is why it is puzzling to see him being retained. Respectfully - Darren Bravo is not ready for leadership - his latest display of contempt for Shiv when he ran himself out is just disappointing. This is the result of the authorities' treatment of our senior players, leaving the youngsters to follow sui

Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 16:17 GMT)

Sammy is the only leader in the team....he gels the team together. WI have tried many but he have them up to a rating of 5, top batsmen need to perform. Chanderpaul is the back bone of the batting. They are trying Dwayne Bravo as captain of the ODI side but he fails too, as Bishop said he need to score runs because his bowling has fallen off. The WI team need MENTAL toughness. Now Gayle I would say forget him 1 good score a series for years but good in the short version. Also, the management need to revamp the side and the selectors panel, a balance side is needed always. Back to captain, Australia, South Africa and England had players who was no a big boy but a LEADER (gel the team), look at the results....selectors leave Sammy along and develop leaders.

Posted by WI_KDoct on (November 30, 2013, 16:09 GMT)

Darren Sammy has bought more respect to WI cricket as captain than Lara, Gayle and company. If anyone should be dropped it should be Gayle. WI bowlers has to learn to bowl a better line and length.

Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 15:40 GMT)

Thanks for taking us to some form of respect,thank you.I pray that coming

series will be your legacy .

Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 15:29 GMT)

Looks like West Indies' recent six-match winning streak has been quickly forgotten... granted those victories were against Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and New Zealand. Changing captain is not going to change West Indies results. Our individual players are not meeting expectations consistently enough, and that is costing us matches. We do not have a captain with the quality of MS Dhoni or Alistair Cook to turn WI into match winners. If you want to criticize Sammy for his personal form, that is fair. But do not be too disappointed in his captaincy.

Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 14:44 GMT)

People keep forgetting that Gayle and all the accomplished players never got the results Sammy did. The series in India was a failure for the players especially Gayle and company. The only batsman to show his worth has always be Chanderpaul and for many years now, so to single out Sammy is quit unfair to the man. Yes we know all the stats but when the others refused to play for the WI he did, when the others opted of money he stood firmly in our corner. Yes we know that he will noe be there for much longer, but instead of finding all kinds oaf fault we should be saying, well done bro. You stood up when other walked away and did the unthinkable, he was at the helm when the WI actually moved up the rankings in Tests and won the the T20 crown. Can one person tell me what the other more accomplished captains did during their run, please someone.

Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 14:41 GMT)

Yes, the West Indies need to invest in the 'good young players" if we do have a future in cricket at the highest level. The older players need to be 'put out to grass" in a phased manner. There are still more fundamental problems however, which persist, and is constantly discussed here in the Caribbean - the mediocre Cricket Board and Selectors themselves - which unfortunately may not be so easy to resolve.

Posted by SwingandSeam on (November 30, 2013, 14:05 GMT)

Any captain has to justify their place in the team. At the moment the only contender with a long term future in the West Indies team is Darren Bravo. Deonarine would be a good replacement to Sammy as the all rounder.

Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 13:57 GMT)

I have maintained from the very start of his tenure that Darren Sammy should not be in the West Indies test side. As an all-rounder, Dwayne Bravo surpasses him on virtually all fronts: better batsman, better bowler, better fieldsman, and can captain just as well. It continues to stagger me that Bravo is continuously overlooked for the test side. Ditto Jerome Taylor.

Posted by Frayninho21 on (November 30, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

Sammy does not warrant a place in the Test side let alone as captain. However, none of the other senior players are likely to want the role either: Gayle, had he been fit for this trip, would probably have retired from tests after this tour (and his 100th test) to mark out his days in cricket playing ODI's / T20's and the free-wheeling circuit of domestic T20 slogathons. Chanderpaul's batting dropped when he was test captain so he won't want the added pressure & responsibilities. I think I would have Ramdin as captain in the short-term (for tests anyway) and make Kieron Powell his vice-captain with a view to him taking over in a couple of years once he has more experience. Ramdin has never really nailed down test cricket but there is no-one really better as a wicket-keeper / number 7 than Ramdin. For the ODI's and T20, I would see if Gayle fancies the job (more chance he would say yes if not playing tests) but he probably won't want the hassle so I would go for Kieron Pollard.

Posted by TeamSelector on (November 30, 2013, 12:43 GMT)

Honest & insightful article, Andrew. I say give the leadership reins back to the former captains. Gayle for the Windies & Roscoe for the Black Caps ... with Samuels & Kane as their deputies.

Posted by gsingh7 on (November 30, 2013, 12:20 GMT)

BOTH CAPTAINS HAVE BEEN GOOD INDIVIDUALLY BUT have been lacking in captaincy. some captains like dhoni and clarke have raised standards for other captains to up their game. this series will be between two teams who are pretty low in rankings and any result will not have any impact on top 4 teams . waiting for india nz series to see if india can win in nz like last time.

Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 12:03 GMT)

Maybe both captains need more consistent players. Sammy should not have to bat so often. He needs to up his game with the ball. This is where his value should be measured. The top six should be putting enough runs on the board.

Posted by GasPipe on (November 30, 2013, 10:53 GMT)

Very good article Mr McGlashan, this will be an interesting subplot to follow in this intriguing series. Two teams - and two captains - trying to find their feet on the world Test stage, with a lot at stake for both: the Windies need something positive after the horror show of the India Tour, while New Zealand are desperate to make good on all of the potential and promise that has been there but not really for a while. Due to home conditions, a more settled side, and my rampant bias, I'm picking the Kiwis to win the series. But I think it will be competitive and enthralling to watch. C'mon Black Caps, let's win this.

Posted by   on (November 30, 2013, 10:29 GMT)

Good luck Windies. Let's win this

Posted by SNIFFLEATHER on (November 30, 2013, 10:28 GMT)

West Indies need to select one of the senior players to take over for a short spell, with DB Bravo being installed as vice-captain. In a year or two, Bravo could then take the reins - hopefully for a long time. Sammy has done his job well but it is high time he was put out to grass - certainly in the test arena anyway. The test XI cannot carry anybody and his lack of runs and firepower with the ball is patent. Good young players such as Brathwaite, Powell, Bravo, Edwards, Roach, Cottrell, Johnson, Narine, Cummins and Holder should not be held back by the continued selection of players past their best or simply not up to the task.

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Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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New Zealand won by 159 runs
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