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

We're missing our big hitters - Best

Renaldo Matadeen

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

  • Damion 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Josiah 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 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

  • Dummy4 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

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Sekou 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.

  • Dummy4 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

  • Roy 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?

  • No featured comments at the moment.