New Zealand v West Indies, 1st T20, Auckland January 12, 2014

We're missing our big hitters - Best

Renaldo Matadeen
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West Indies fast bowler Tino Best has said that the absence of their big hitters, due to injuries, impacted the team's performance in the first T20 against New Zealand at Eden Park on Saturday. New Zealand set the visitors 190 to chase but West Indies crumbled to end on 108 for 8. It left West Indies needing to win the second game in Wellington on Wednesday to square the series before returning home.

Best picked up 3 for 40 from his four overs after finding himself on the fringes in the ODI series. With Ravi Rampaul returning home due to injury, Best was thrust into an atmosphere where New Zealand took the bowlers to task.

"I thought New Zealand played well. They played to their strengths so all credit to them," Best said. "I think that in our situation right now, we don't have all our big hitters. In T20s, you need all your six hitters. But we have one more game to go and can level the series there."

Best admitted that while the bowlers were expensive, the team felt that 190 could be chased. "Obviously if Johnson Charles, [Lendl] Simmons and [Andre] Fletcher got off to a good start it was gettable," Best said. "You can't rule a score like that out in T20. But it just didn't happen for us today."

Best believes that West Indies are on course to defending their World T20 title in March in Bangladesh amid these hiccups because they are likely to be back to full-strength. He said the weakened squad had made the New Zealand tour much tougher.

"I can tell you, if our key players were here like Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy and Dwayne Smith, it would be a whole different ballgame. When we played them (New Zealand) in the Caribbean with our full-strength team, they didn't turn up but here, we're in their backyard and a bit weakened. But we've still got a good team spirit going so we have to keep fighting. The guys feel very very positive," Best said.

He added that the New Zealand batsmen had riled him as they started briskly thanks to unbeaten knocks from Brendon McCullum (60) and Luke Ronchi (48). When asked if the disappointing tour was getting to the West Indies players, Best replied, "International cricket is hard so you'll be a bit chirpy. It's a gentleman's game, yes, but in T20 cricket, you get more fired up (as a bowler) as guys will play extraordinary shots off you. So you just want to give them a twerp to let them know that you're still bowling hard and to show some respect. But it's all good out there."

Renaldo Matadeen is a sportswriter and social media manager for ESPN Caribbean. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • wizzla on January 15, 2014, 15:51 GMT

    @ Roysingh1972 well said. so true. WI selectors are not picking the best players! despite "injury" to some "BIG" players there are still more competent players in teh region that can beat any side in the world.

  • on January 14, 2014, 2:31 GMT

    yh right... these same "HITTERS" were not in the last ODI, but yet NZ was trashed.... just lack of consistency and also a bit of scoreboard pressure... not lack of any "HITTERS".. because if they have to go out the game today WI has to survive without them so you guys better put on yor heads and make runs and stop finding excuses.

  • on January 14, 2014, 1:40 GMT

    @Brutalanalyst... how ironic... you're a soft touch, forgiving him his atrocious tour and poor on-field, prima donna attitude. He 'actually bowled well'?? It was the best I have seen him bowl for ages and he took 3/40.... Neesham got 3/16 off four overs, Nathan McCullum got 4/24.... when you go at ten an over and two of your wickets are just people holing out as hitting from one end whilst BMac anchored innings... All I can say is this, as a Black Caps fan and a real cricket analyst: Please, please, play him again instead of Holder... like, that was another awesome call from captain and coach... LOLZ!!!! Tino comes with all the hoopla and aggression and over-the-top sledging of a Mitchell Johnson (though not quite as childish and petulant as Johnson to be fair), all the time bowling badly.... it is as if he is singularly focused on becoming the laughing stock of international cricket.

  • on January 13, 2014, 23:46 GMT

    best should be the last person talking about who the team is missing since he is someone who should be missing from windies cricket right now, its a shame everyone else is getting injured but him, and he gets 3 fluke wickets and they put the mike at his mouth, please best, take a rest.

  • Mekkayel on January 13, 2014, 20:42 GMT

    I may be going off topic, but West Indies batting woes solution ifs staring the selectors in their face. Chanderpaul has to bat at no.3 as he it's the best and most consistent batsman the team has. He is NOT a natural no.5 as he is selfish batting with the tail and is far from aggressive. Darren Bravo can be labelled inconsistent but a very good player so push him to no.4. Then can we argue Samuels position at no.5 or sack him completely for Kirk Edwards.lastly the team needs better allrounder than Sammy, I say Dwayne because he has more pace, variations abs all round tricks and can do a lot more with the ball than Sammy.he is also a better batsman.as for the spin bowling aspect, Bishoo deserves another run, his saving was unfair and he isa much better spinner than Permaul. The pace department just needs better bowlers, you can find a lot of them all over the Caribbean

  • on January 13, 2014, 13:27 GMT

    Or, you could all just accept you are playing a way better team.? A team that has a lot of improvement in it too.... and has young guys like Neesham and Anderson. You're using new guys as excuse but only as they underperform. Ours don't. Ryder is only just back from a year out. Guptill is out of form. Certainly this is not the Black Caps at full steam. The team that toured the West Indies (ages ago) - and lost - were without Ryder, Anderson and Neesham.. and others.... our team is much stronger now.... Gayle is a glory boy (and you know it), Pollard is an easy duck early on and very hit and miss.... yet these are the guys who would have apparently changed a 2-0 test series whooping, a couple of hammerings in the ODI series (albeit disappointingly drawn with late complacency by NZ) and, I hope, a 2-0 series loss in the T20s (thrashed in first game too)? Many state Gayle is poison in a team (attitude-wise), but he would have been your tour saviour? Doubtful. Bring on India... NZ>W.I

  • on January 13, 2014, 9:29 GMT

    I do not know, why West Indies are ignoring Criss Gayle, Daywene Smith, Kerren Pollard, Marlon Samules, Ram Sarwan and Darren Sammy as they are the best winning players and the best all rounders. West Indies team needs to reconsider their squad for future Cricket.

  • Paris_in_the_snow on January 13, 2014, 5:01 GMT

    Why not play Powell and/or Edwards after what they did in the last ODI? Certainly they would have provided a certain intimidation factor.

  • on January 13, 2014, 4:29 GMT

    Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Dinesh Ramdin,Darren Sammy, Andre Russel, Jason Holder, Kevin Cooper, Sunil Narine.

    The Toughest T20 Team in the world

  • Roysingh1972 on January 13, 2014, 3:30 GMT

    Where is Barnwell and D Smith? Holder plays for Chanhai super kings, D Smith opens for Mumbai, the best 20/20 team this year, Cooper ? The IPL have good selectors, what about the team from TnT, how come WI selectors don't pick there top class over seas players. And players who did good in CPL like Santokie?

  • wizzla on January 15, 2014, 15:51 GMT

    @ Roysingh1972 well said. so true. WI selectors are not picking the best players! despite "injury" to some "BIG" players there are still more competent players in teh region that can beat any side in the world.

  • on January 14, 2014, 2:31 GMT

    yh right... these same "HITTERS" were not in the last ODI, but yet NZ was trashed.... just lack of consistency and also a bit of scoreboard pressure... not lack of any "HITTERS".. because if they have to go out the game today WI has to survive without them so you guys better put on yor heads and make runs and stop finding excuses.

  • on January 14, 2014, 1:40 GMT

    @Brutalanalyst... how ironic... you're a soft touch, forgiving him his atrocious tour and poor on-field, prima donna attitude. He 'actually bowled well'?? It was the best I have seen him bowl for ages and he took 3/40.... Neesham got 3/16 off four overs, Nathan McCullum got 4/24.... when you go at ten an over and two of your wickets are just people holing out as hitting from one end whilst BMac anchored innings... All I can say is this, as a Black Caps fan and a real cricket analyst: Please, please, play him again instead of Holder... like, that was another awesome call from captain and coach... LOLZ!!!! Tino comes with all the hoopla and aggression and over-the-top sledging of a Mitchell Johnson (though not quite as childish and petulant as Johnson to be fair), all the time bowling badly.... it is as if he is singularly focused on becoming the laughing stock of international cricket.

  • on January 13, 2014, 23:46 GMT

    best should be the last person talking about who the team is missing since he is someone who should be missing from windies cricket right now, its a shame everyone else is getting injured but him, and he gets 3 fluke wickets and they put the mike at his mouth, please best, take a rest.

  • Mekkayel on January 13, 2014, 20:42 GMT

    I may be going off topic, but West Indies batting woes solution ifs staring the selectors in their face. Chanderpaul has to bat at no.3 as he it's the best and most consistent batsman the team has. He is NOT a natural no.5 as he is selfish batting with the tail and is far from aggressive. Darren Bravo can be labelled inconsistent but a very good player so push him to no.4. Then can we argue Samuels position at no.5 or sack him completely for Kirk Edwards.lastly the team needs better allrounder than Sammy, I say Dwayne because he has more pace, variations abs all round tricks and can do a lot more with the ball than Sammy.he is also a better batsman.as for the spin bowling aspect, Bishoo deserves another run, his saving was unfair and he isa much better spinner than Permaul. The pace department just needs better bowlers, you can find a lot of them all over the Caribbean

  • on January 13, 2014, 13:27 GMT

    Or, you could all just accept you are playing a way better team.? A team that has a lot of improvement in it too.... and has young guys like Neesham and Anderson. You're using new guys as excuse but only as they underperform. Ours don't. Ryder is only just back from a year out. Guptill is out of form. Certainly this is not the Black Caps at full steam. The team that toured the West Indies (ages ago) - and lost - were without Ryder, Anderson and Neesham.. and others.... our team is much stronger now.... Gayle is a glory boy (and you know it), Pollard is an easy duck early on and very hit and miss.... yet these are the guys who would have apparently changed a 2-0 test series whooping, a couple of hammerings in the ODI series (albeit disappointingly drawn with late complacency by NZ) and, I hope, a 2-0 series loss in the T20s (thrashed in first game too)? Many state Gayle is poison in a team (attitude-wise), but he would have been your tour saviour? Doubtful. Bring on India... NZ>W.I

  • on January 13, 2014, 9:29 GMT

    I do not know, why West Indies are ignoring Criss Gayle, Daywene Smith, Kerren Pollard, Marlon Samules, Ram Sarwan and Darren Sammy as they are the best winning players and the best all rounders. West Indies team needs to reconsider their squad for future Cricket.

  • Paris_in_the_snow on January 13, 2014, 5:01 GMT

    Why not play Powell and/or Edwards after what they did in the last ODI? Certainly they would have provided a certain intimidation factor.

  • on January 13, 2014, 4:29 GMT

    Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Dinesh Ramdin,Darren Sammy, Andre Russel, Jason Holder, Kevin Cooper, Sunil Narine.

    The Toughest T20 Team in the world

  • Roysingh1972 on January 13, 2014, 3:30 GMT

    Where is Barnwell and D Smith? Holder plays for Chanhai super kings, D Smith opens for Mumbai, the best 20/20 team this year, Cooper ? The IPL have good selectors, what about the team from TnT, how come WI selectors don't pick there top class over seas players. And players who did good in CPL like Santokie?

  • Nealhemraj on January 13, 2014, 2:38 GMT

    West Indies should only get pay if they win or score runs or get wickets.there is no pride and direction.coaching and mentoring a big fix.bring on the reserves they are hungry ......

  • Ozizim on January 13, 2014, 2:33 GMT

    Keep going like this and we'll be talking of the Windies in the same breath as the "mighty" Zimbabweans.... such a shame, really that T20 is the only format that they can be seen as being competitive. How the mighty have fallen.

  • on January 13, 2014, 1:23 GMT

    Some of these"fans" have very short memories,they conveniently forgot who won t20 world cup remember Samuels 28/29 off Malinga,ie. Sri Lanka??

  • rayinto on January 13, 2014, 1:16 GMT

    Shut up and play best - you talk too much!

  • SNIFFLEATHER on January 13, 2014, 0:40 GMT

    In about twelve months, perhaps a little more, people are going to sit up and take notice of the West Indies again. The reason for this is a young bowler coming through from Guyana. Ronsford Beaton, whose action and speed is similar to that of current NZ quickie Adam Milne, has it all. Time is the only thing that is required now - experience will nurture this young man along nicely. Yuvraj, who played against him not long ago likened him to Ambrose - he is a tall, slim guy, like the great man. Whether he has as good a career as Ambrose is not likely but he seems destined to give the West Indies that long awaited boost to the fast bowling ranks. He, Roach and possibly young Barbadian speedster Miguel Cummins, could well bring about a much needed turn of fortune for the West Indies. Test cricket especially needs a strong Windies pace attack - the game just isn't the same without it.

  • on January 13, 2014, 0:26 GMT

    Why dropped Holder...WI selectors will never get it right.

  • Kiwiheart on January 12, 2014, 23:55 GMT

    We couldv'e wouldv'e shouldv'e didn't because EXCUSES! As professional sportsmen are unexpectable and as a New Zealand supporter I have heard enough excuses. When New Zealand toured the West Indies they were beaten comprehensively by the better side. Though perhaps if the New Zealand side had McCullum and Taylor not missed the early matches they could have won. Perhaps if the captaincy wasn't thrust upon young Kane Williamson's shoulders so suddenly after Taylor was injured we could have won. Perhaps if we had the luxury of Jesse Ryder and Daniel Vettori we could have won. The New Zealand side had Nicol, Flynn, Brownlie, Ellis, Hira, Nethula all of which have not played much more international cricket or will ever play again. Since that tour New Zealand have improved significantly with new talents like Anderson and McClenagahn. It is easy to think what if, but it is the understanding of what was makes umprovements.

  • on January 12, 2014, 22:31 GMT

    Russell exhibits a lot of potential but needs coaching on the bowling side. He is consistently too expensive . Narine will get a pass . I agree with 'outswinging'. Fletcher or Ramdin, either one is ok.

  • delboy on January 12, 2014, 22:14 GMT

    Why oh why was Simmons sent in ahead of Powell? I made better sense opening with the left and right hand combination, at stroke maker and a crash bang wallop. Simmons is trying so desperately hard to win an IPL contract he has forgotten that bat must connect with ball and either pierce gaps or clear boundaries. When chasing a target the WI boys seen to keep their eys on the Wickets increasing rather than the runs. The coaches job is not to tell players at this level what to do, he should be telling them what not to do; that should be a shorter list which leads to less confusion and uncertainty when players are in the middle.

  • on January 12, 2014, 21:25 GMT

    Now that Tino Best becomes the spokeman for the W.I team, it only epitomizes the culture of this cricket team. It is a group of players assemled together in the name of test cricketers who are more satirical in their performance than being up to test cricket level - just look at Tino Best on the field of play in any given day - comical. This W.I team is to cricket as the Harlem Globe Trotters are to Basketball

  • on January 12, 2014, 18:36 GMT

    windies are touted as limited overs is their game so thats a poor excuse. the result was paltry, no fight at all.

  • on January 12, 2014, 18:31 GMT

    cricket is not to depend on a few guys its a team sport and u have to step up to the challenge. no excuse.

  • StevieS on January 12, 2014, 18:01 GMT

    I wish Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard were here, I am sure both of their middle names are "flat track bully". Any hint of movement in the air or off the seam and both don't have a clue.

  • on January 12, 2014, 17:28 GMT

    Best has a lower economy in T20 because of his pace but just like Johnson did vs England use that pace!

  • wirus on January 12, 2014, 17:19 GMT

    Best has to be taken with a grain of salt. The only reason he is here at all is because of poor selection choices and then stubbornness in not changing their minds after India. He, Deonerine and Walkton would not normally get anywhere near a WI T20 side but needs must until they can finally get home. Then some serious thinking and long overdue changes have to happen in all three formats. I hope that Bravo and his men can at least finish well. Bravo has surprised me and done remarkably well in every department including captaincy. There may well be a wider future for him just ahead.

  • on January 12, 2014, 16:58 GMT

    Kiwis did what to Holder? In only one game can I remember Holder going for runs. That was the shortened game. Go check Holder stats. The guy up for best young talent of 2013. Take it easy. Best is right some players are missing but the players that are missing weren't performing in 2013.

  • siddhartha87 on January 12, 2014, 16:30 GMT

    They should bring back Dwanyne Smith for t20 world cup. IDeal team for t20 wc-

    1.Gayle 2.Smith 3.Samuels 4.DJ Bravo 5. Pollard 6. Sammy 7.Charles (wk) 8.Narine 9.Rampaul 10.Roach 11.Badree

    10 bowlers in that XI.& explosive batsmen. I know they may get all out for 60 runs with this team but if they click they will probably score 300

  • BRUTALANALYST on January 12, 2014, 16:18 GMT

    I meant Dwayne Bravo 4. reserves would be Charles Dm Bravo Rampaul/Samules if fit

  • BRUTALANALYST on January 12, 2014, 15:22 GMT

    W.I best T20 side for the WOlrd Cup defence 1.Smith 2.Gayle 3.Simmons (K) 4.DM Bravo 5.Pollard 6.Barnwell 7.Russell 8.Sammy9.Narine 10.Badree 11.Santokie - 16 overs form the 3 bowlers and Bravo then 4 between Pollard Sammy and Barnwell. All 4 of those big allroudners have to play as they're the most devastating batsman.

  • Outswinging on January 12, 2014, 14:04 GMT

    West Indies need to look towards the youth. Players like Nikta Miller, Dwayne Smith, Tino Best, Ramdin, Deonarine and Fletcher need to be absent from the team post haste. Additionally, an unfit Rampaul with his sizable girth should not me taken on tour until his loses at least 10 to 15 pounds. And please WICB give us a new coach.

  • on January 12, 2014, 12:12 GMT

    i agree tino best is fast but dosent move the ball , in my opinion he is past it his heart is in the right place , at 32 their is no future in him for west indies cricket keep persvering with holder and give derlorn johnson a chance to prove himself.

  • BRUTALANALYST on January 12, 2014, 9:11 GMT

    Tino actually bowled pretty well his pace visibly rushed many of the batsman and was the reason he took 2 vital wickets of Munroe and Anderson both beaten for pace he also got big wicket of Guptill. Most the Kiwis took a real liking to Holder in the Odi's so I don't know why people are still attacking Best acting like Holder would have done any better or made a big difference.

  • Rally_Windies on January 12, 2014, 8:32 GMT

    you missing your good bowlers too ... Tino needs big hitters to win games the way he bowls ........

  • 512fm on January 12, 2014, 7:10 GMT

    I really do think West Indies cricket just need to be done with this guy. He started going crazy at McCullum because he got paddle scooped for a six. Best just doesn't have the brains for international cricket. You really have to wonder why he played this game ahead of Jason Holder.

  • InsideHedge on January 12, 2014, 5:14 GMT

    Best is always good for a laugh, some good quotes there. It seems that the West Indies players now think of themselves as T20 cricketers judging by the quality of their play in Tests and ODIs. I wouldn't rule out a successful defence of their T20 World Cup in Bangla.

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  • InsideHedge on January 12, 2014, 5:14 GMT

    Best is always good for a laugh, some good quotes there. It seems that the West Indies players now think of themselves as T20 cricketers judging by the quality of their play in Tests and ODIs. I wouldn't rule out a successful defence of their T20 World Cup in Bangla.

  • 512fm on January 12, 2014, 7:10 GMT

    I really do think West Indies cricket just need to be done with this guy. He started going crazy at McCullum because he got paddle scooped for a six. Best just doesn't have the brains for international cricket. You really have to wonder why he played this game ahead of Jason Holder.

  • Rally_Windies on January 12, 2014, 8:32 GMT

    you missing your good bowlers too ... Tino needs big hitters to win games the way he bowls ........

  • BRUTALANALYST on January 12, 2014, 9:11 GMT

    Tino actually bowled pretty well his pace visibly rushed many of the batsman and was the reason he took 2 vital wickets of Munroe and Anderson both beaten for pace he also got big wicket of Guptill. Most the Kiwis took a real liking to Holder in the Odi's so I don't know why people are still attacking Best acting like Holder would have done any better or made a big difference.

  • on January 12, 2014, 12:12 GMT

    i agree tino best is fast but dosent move the ball , in my opinion he is past it his heart is in the right place , at 32 their is no future in him for west indies cricket keep persvering with holder and give derlorn johnson a chance to prove himself.

  • Outswinging on January 12, 2014, 14:04 GMT

    West Indies need to look towards the youth. Players like Nikta Miller, Dwayne Smith, Tino Best, Ramdin, Deonarine and Fletcher need to be absent from the team post haste. Additionally, an unfit Rampaul with his sizable girth should not me taken on tour until his loses at least 10 to 15 pounds. And please WICB give us a new coach.

  • BRUTALANALYST on January 12, 2014, 15:22 GMT

    W.I best T20 side for the WOlrd Cup defence 1.Smith 2.Gayle 3.Simmons (K) 4.DM Bravo 5.Pollard 6.Barnwell 7.Russell 8.Sammy9.Narine 10.Badree 11.Santokie - 16 overs form the 3 bowlers and Bravo then 4 between Pollard Sammy and Barnwell. All 4 of those big allroudners have to play as they're the most devastating batsman.

  • BRUTALANALYST on January 12, 2014, 16:18 GMT

    I meant Dwayne Bravo 4. reserves would be Charles Dm Bravo Rampaul/Samules if fit

  • siddhartha87 on January 12, 2014, 16:30 GMT

    They should bring back Dwanyne Smith for t20 world cup. IDeal team for t20 wc-

    1.Gayle 2.Smith 3.Samuels 4.DJ Bravo 5. Pollard 6. Sammy 7.Charles (wk) 8.Narine 9.Rampaul 10.Roach 11.Badree

    10 bowlers in that XI.& explosive batsmen. I know they may get all out for 60 runs with this team but if they click they will probably score 300

  • on January 12, 2014, 16:58 GMT

    Kiwis did what to Holder? In only one game can I remember Holder going for runs. That was the shortened game. Go check Holder stats. The guy up for best young talent of 2013. Take it easy. Best is right some players are missing but the players that are missing weren't performing in 2013.