West Indies v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Kingston, 4th day

An important win for the West Indies hierarchy

The performance against New Zealand has earned the captain, coach and selectors some breathing room

Garth Wattley at Sabina Park

August 5, 2012

Comments: 45 | Text size: A | A

West Indies celebrate their series win, West Indies v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Kingston, 4th day, August 5, 2012
West Indies have won back-to-back Tests in a series for the first time since 2002 © DigicelCricket.com/Brooks LaTouche Photography

The Sunday morning breeze in Kingston must have smelled extra fresh to the West Indies team management, especially after Shivnarine Chanderpaul had collected the final couple of runs to complete the team's 2-0 series victory over New Zealand. A West Indies side would have to go back ten years to 2002 in Bangladesh to find the last time they won back-to-back Tests in a series. The result this time was perhaps even more important for different people.

Chief selector Clyde Butts had put the series in perspective back in June, when he called it "our first test in terms of how we are moving forward". Currently Butts and fellow selectors Robert Haynes and Courtney Browne are on a curious three-month extension of their terms - since, according to the West Indies Cricket Board, their performance had not yet been fully appraised when their tenures ended last month.

Coach Ottis Gibson will also see his three-year contract come to an end early next year. For captain Darren Sammy, another series loss against the team just above the West Indies in the Test rankings would have made talk of genuine improvement of the team even harder to justify.

This series win has earned the selectors, coach and captain some respite. Beating New Zealand convincingly is at least statistical proof that West Indies are moving forward. The Test rubber triumph, put together with the 2-0 T20 series win in Florida and the 4-1 ODI victory would seem to indicate that, like the weather systems currently earning attention in the Caribbean region, the team is gaining in strength.

Sammy would not accept that New Zealand, who went to Australia earlier this year and drew 1-1 were a weak side. "I think they were quite tough," he said. "In all the games they had chances but we capitalised on these key moments in most of the games and that's why we were victorious."

What Sammy did not say was that with the exception of the steady opener Martin Guptill, below-par batting throughout did not allow New Zealand to win the key moments. Also, in both Tests the tourists gave chances to the most dangerous West Indian batsmen. In Antigua, Chris Gayle had two let-offs in making 150, while in this last game in Jamaica, Marlon Samuels was put down both in his match-defining first-innings 123 and equally important second-innings 52.

It would be harsh, however, to say West Indies did not earn their victories. Sammy noted that at various times in the Tests, "performances came out from different players at different times". "When the team needed somebody to step up, someone always put their hand up," he said. "It contributed to us winning the series. The result here is the product of hard work."

Sunil Narine, with his many variations, Narsingh Deonarine, sometimes with the bat, sometimes with his underrated offspin, fast bowler Tino Best in his one Test and opening batsman Kieran Powell all had their moments against New Zealand. What is still missing is for more of the same players to put their hands up more often. At this stage West Indies in Tests still do not have the settled look that teams at the top end of the Test table usually have. Four different openers and three different combinations have been used in eight Tests so far this year. Injury and poor form has also meant that the bowling unit has changed almost from game to game.

Out of this muddle, however, a few have stood out. In the absence of a regular new-ball partner, Kemar Roach has carried the mantle of pace spearhead impressively.

"To be honest," Roach said, "it was quite tough but there was a job to be done for the West Indies and I am one of the leading bowlers, so obviously I have to lead from the front... I've been trying to bowl much straighter, obviously keeping the batsmen playing as much as possible."

His consistency of line and length has been so good that Roach is averaging 22.25 for his world-leading 39 wickets this year, most of them taken on slow West Indian pitches. The figures would have been even better if he did not overstep so often. Roach's front foot gets so close to the line that it is now standard for each of his dismissals to be checked by the TV umpire. It is a problem he has been working at correcting, but is clearly not solved yet.

Samuels' game, though, is about at its peak. Now 31, he is a man on a stated mission to make up for the two lost years that suspension from the game cost him. Finally he has learned to pace his innings, much in the way Gayle now does at the top of the order and Chanderpaul always has.

Always possessed of good technique and the ability to play the most exquisite strokes, Samuels is now a complete player, who is beginning to get the runs to prove it. So far in 2012 he has 589 at 84.14. His century at Sabina Park against a New Zealand attack that worried all his team-mates, was a masterclass in itself.

Maturity seems to come later for West Indians in this era. The trouble is, captains and coaches don't get such a long grace period. For now, though, Sammy and Gibson have earned some more time.

Garth Wattley is a writer with the Trinidad Express

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Posted by   on (August 8, 2012, 11:26 GMT)

Over the years WI fans have grown accustom to having Star Performers as capts ( Worrell, Sobers, LLoyd, Walsh, Lara, etc). But does a player have to be a star performer to be a good capt? Well let's look at a player who by no stretch of the imagination is a star performer, not with bat nor gloves. I speak of none other than Mr. M S Dhoni. Dhoni is a good batter & an avg keeper( check record), but no one can question his ability as a capt.( check record). Sammy & Dhoni r avg players ,with Dhoni a slight edge. He has played far more tests than Sammy. But they r strong character persons, never say die, tough competitors, good leaders, & deal with the press admirably. And if all India can support Dhoni, why must I bash my own? These vicious attacks on Sammy must stop.

Posted by Phat-Boy on (August 8, 2012, 7:07 GMT)

What, so it wasn't Sammy's decision to bowl a batsman who sends down part-time off-spin for 17 overs and get 4 wickets out of him? It wasn't his decision to set the field that took 10 of the 20 wickets that fell? That's how many dismissals fell to non-wicketkeeper catches in the game. It wasn't his decision to crowd the bat when Narine was bowling? What, he doesn't get any credit for the quite obvious unity the team has played with of late? Noooo, of course not - he only has an effect when things go POORLY doesn't he? Wake up to yourself. What did he do to help them win? Second-top scoring with his team at 6-110 I thought would have been an obvious one. Blind ignorance - people only see what they want to see.

Posted by estraker on (August 8, 2012, 5:24 GMT)

Well, sammy is not doing a very good job at field placing if that is the the only reason he is there. Furthermore, his bowling changes is horrible. NZ did not play cricket and how many wickets did they spin bowler get? Where was the competition? So, how did sammy help? Can you tell me how and why was he able to get the team playing as a team. Do you know of any problems that would not cause the players not to play as a team. The umpire could have made the bowling changes and W I would have won the matches. And i am going to ask again what did Sammy do to help the team? Identify the problems!

Posted by kaidranzer on (August 8, 2012, 4:41 GMT)

@estraker: I haven't followed the Gayle, WICB spat so I am not aware of what went wrong. You may be right there. But as far as I can see, Gayle as a player is indispensable, no doubt about that but Gayle as a captain will only create more controversies. Players like Gayle, KP, Ganguly, etc always get into some sort of controversy. Not good for the team. And as long as the Windies are winning, I don't see any reason for changing a winning combination. Finally, to answer your question, yes I play cricket everyday.

Posted by theswami on (August 7, 2012, 23:43 GMT)

I think Sammy is necessary for Team WI only because he knows that he is at best a mediocre player, who is in the team for his captaincy. In other times when a performing player, like the best batsman was made the captain, there was widespread jostling for the post with players involving in politics, etc. all of which made the captain insecure and took a toll on his form, so WI lost both a captain & a very good player. The captain's form replicates in the uninspired team leading to below par performances. Now all that is avoided because of Sammy He is primarily a leader, a performing player only next, so he thinks deeply about his captaincy, about field placings, bowling changes, pacing of innings, etc... WI have finally got a thinking & talented captain, besides he does contribute his bit, rather well in a few matches but mostly just about par as a player. So guys, you take out Sammy, you take out the cement & the structure falls ..

Posted by estraker on (August 7, 2012, 21:34 GMT)

kaidranzer,utter nonsense! have you ever played cricket? The coach tried to do is destroy those players like gayle, Chanderpaul and sarwan instead of coaching.I am of the impression that, Gibson, as a former bowler does nor know how to swing the new ball otherwise he would have shown his fast bowlers how to make it swing. These are some important things that he should have been concentrating on instead of trying to crucify people like Gayle for absolutely no reasons........and by the way they could not have won the test without people like gayle or canders. Sammy has no place in that team as a matter of fact Gibson should resign because is doing nothing to help the team.

Posted by llw5682 on (August 7, 2012, 21:15 GMT)

Guys, Sammy has definitely improved as a player over the last 6-8 months. What more can you ask for? He's not exactly Jacques Kallis, and it's debatable as to his being able to justify his place on the team but he's still better than he was when he started as captain. He's played a few good innings including a century in english conditions. We need to start accepting that he's likely going to be the captain for a while.

Posted by noplay on (August 7, 2012, 13:17 GMT)

Friends, we are doing well at the bottom of the ladder, in fact, very well... we beat Bangladesh and New Zealand. The changes to the team that made us successful against New Zealand have nothing to do with captain and coach. And let's be realistic Gayle brought more to the team than for himself. Gayle did not lose out by being out of the team, WI did. On Sammy's batting it is no different from Tino Best at number 11, or Kemar Roach, Russell and Rampaul for that matter. What's good for the club sides playing at the bottom of the table does not work against better teams, so let everyone celebrate where they feel comfortable...

Posted by jb633 on (August 7, 2012, 12:46 GMT)

@Dashgar- I really like the analogy and it is spot on. People should not be too harsh about Darren Sammy because he has stabilised the crumbling WI. Every criticism of him can only be levelled against his natural ability. His attitude and work ethic have been exceptional and he should be given great credit for this. In many ways he is my favourite cricketer in the modern game. The manner he has approached everything has been great. However, if the WI are now to take the next big step, which is to compete with the big boys then WI need a replacement as skipper. They must look to retain the services of Sarwan and play a specialist 3rd seamer, or at home 2 specialist spinners.

Posted by   on (August 7, 2012, 11:50 GMT)

As a kiwi, am dissapointed with the series, but on the other hand world cricket needs a winning WI side. So am glad for that.

Posted by kaidranzer on (August 7, 2012, 9:46 GMT)

First of all, well done West Indies. The team is finally coming together and grabbing those crucial moments, which was the main problem on the tour of England. Secondly, to all those saying Sammy has done enough and should be let go because he has unified the team, I would like to raise two questions. One, who will be the next captain? If Gayle, then there is no doubt that the Windies will slide back down and undo all the hard work they have done. Will it be Bravo junior? I say, let him settle down in the team first. Two more years of international cricket should do it. Second question, what makes you think the team will continue to be unified under the new leader? Finally some stats in favor of Sammy. In 2012, Sammy averages almost 37 in 8 matches. Not bad for someone coming at No.8. He has taken 12 wickets but most of them at crucial stages as many would remember on the tour of England. Please appreciate Sammy for what he has done for Windies cricket and let him be.

Posted by   on (August 7, 2012, 7:55 GMT)

Congrats West Indies for a well-deserved victory.As an Indian Fan I feel the West Indies are going to be the biggest threat for any team in the World T20 if they field this team.The 3 subcontinental teams have the best chance to win the trophy but Windies can prove Dark Horses with the likes of Gayle,Narine,Roach,the Bravo Bros et al.

Posted by VivtheGreatest on (August 7, 2012, 5:24 GMT)

@Pras_Punter yea its gonna be some real Diwali fireworks cum November and those overhyped English bowlers wont know where to hide!!!

Posted by Phat-Boy on (August 7, 2012, 5:11 GMT)

Annan are you serious? So 'in spite' of Darren Sammy providing the only other half-meaningful contribution in the second innings, the West Indies won? 'In spite' of his decision to use Deonarine for 17 overs and get four wickets out of him they won? get your hand off it. Even as a big fan of Sammy's, I'm starting to see that the time is approaching when he needs to be replaced - he's done what he was put there to do, the team is unified. But until such time as both his skills are surpassed by someone they are hard-pressed to drop him. There are specialist batsmen still being used or rotated who have not boasted the figures he has in 2012. As a bowler he's past his usefulness I think. But to suggest that they are doing well in spite of him and his leadership is perhaps the stupidest thing I've ever heard. He's no Taylor, he's no Lloyd, he's not Graham Smith. But one look at the West Indies side in the last six months shows he's united the team, he's respected, and liked.

Posted by Dashgar on (August 7, 2012, 2:15 GMT)

3 years ago the West Indies team roughly looked like this. Gayle, Smith, Sarwan, Chanderpaul, Nash, Bravo, Ramdin, Taylor, Edwards, Benn, Powell. The team were winning nothing, they were lazy and chasing dollars in IPL and county cricket. Some of them were trying to play with pride for their team but others were just after individual glory. Worst of all they were divided and blamed everyone but themselves for their failures. Now none of the team are playing for themself, not even the ones who were the main culprits in the problem to begin with. And those who aren't in the side are absent because they haven't made a commitment to the team. All this progress is thanks to Sammy and Gibson, they took control of a train wreck and turned it into a cricket team.

Posted by godfreyse on (August 6, 2012, 22:22 GMT)

Yes,K. Ramchand & Mr. Hamilton have said it all. I have tried but they r the better men. I know some of Sammy's critics r fairly educated persons. Some r knowledgeable cricket fans. Armed with all the facts & figures & Sammy's success they continue to be critical without even naming a replacement. That's poor argument. This now lead me to think that Sammy's bashing is based on non cricketing issues, which is rather unfortunate. WI cricket is on the move & we r blessed with very talented players for all formats of the game. No other team in world cricket has that luxury. Let's base our criticism on performance & performance only.

Posted by tommyhawk on (August 6, 2012, 19:05 GMT)

I can't put it any better than kenneth ramchand and mr hamilton did in their support of sammy. Sammy's contribution does not extend only to those with bat and ball but in the way he and the coach have moulded players to believe in themselves. Even so, I believe his contributions with both bat and ball speak for themselves.

One other thing. I don't think that since Sammy became captain he has had a break. He deserves one. He needs one. That's why his performances with the ball may not be as consistent as they once were. He NEEDS that rest. It might also give someone a chance to build captaincy skills.

Of all the test players since Sammy became captain I think the only one who has not had a break for one reason or another is Sammy.

Posted by delboy on (August 6, 2012, 17:46 GMT)

@Godfrey surely you are not suggesting this for all formats? This might be a trial for ODIs but do not even think of making a young inexperienced batsman which no captaincy experience the leader of a WI team. All teams need STRONG leadership it is even more so when they have to lead a team which has players who were previous captains. You cannot expect a new captain to be accountable for anything if you are suggesting that he always takes instructions from those who are considered not fit for the job. Simple solution drop Sammy, bring in Taylor. Rotate Taylor, Cock Roach, Rampaul and the other young prospects while they gain experience before the time come when Roach, Rampaul go and we are back to young inexperienced bowlers. Players need to be hungry and challenge for their places; Right now Barath needs to prove he is worthy.. Deonarin and Fuddadin are doing just that.

Posted by   on (August 6, 2012, 17:10 GMT)

there are too many good fast bowlers around in west indies cricket and better batsmen than sammy so why keep playing him

Posted by   on (August 6, 2012, 17:00 GMT)

I wonder why people fail to realize that Gayle had to come back and retract his statements. When people have and agenda they fail to see the truth. Gayle had to give up his English contract to play for West Indies again and he could have done this a long time ago he just let his ego take over. The board did not tell him and Bravo, Pollard and others to not sign so what was the board to do, beg? It seems that's what some people would have wanted. Well WI cricket is bigger than Gayle and if it meant going on the youngsters well so be it. As a matter a fact if it was not for the selfish actions of Gayle and company we would never have a Kemar Roach, Bravo etc. getting a chance. Now that Gayle has realized that he will never be considered a great player unless he plays Test Cricket he has come back and he was not begged either he came on his own nobody asked him to give up anything. Not saying the board is right but Gayle was the main problem here.

Posted by   on (August 6, 2012, 16:53 GMT)

A move for the future. Relieve Ramdin of the v/c position, make DM Bravo v/c for the up coming tour of Aus. With Gayle, Shiv & Sammy to guide him, the transition to captcy will be easy. And don't forget he is a capable keeper, & that part of his game should be encouraged. WI r on the move.

Posted by inot on (August 6, 2012, 16:32 GMT)

WI won inspite of Sammy and here is the evidence

Opening Bowlers: Roach 2 matches 12 wickets; Rampaul 1 match 4 wickets; Best 1 match 4 wickets;

First change Sammy 2 matches 1 wicket;

Spinner Narine 2 matches 12 wickets;

Partime Bowler Deonarine 2 matches 6 wickets;

WI will not win many matches with 3 front line bowlers. Sammy is not a front line bowler and is definitely not a first change bowler.He would not earn a place on any other test team. To win matches you must be able to bowl out the opposition twice. A fourth frontline bowler like Best, Edwards, Shillingford, Bishoo or Permaul will win more matches than this current imbalanced attack. Chris Gayle and others talked about this after the world cup and were ostracised.

Posted by   on (August 6, 2012, 16:28 GMT)

Get Darren Bravo in for Fudadin when fit and the team gets even stronger. With test series against Bangladesh (away), Zimbabwe (home), Sri Lanka (home) and Pakistan (home) coming up over the next 12 months, then there is every chance of further progress.

Posted by   on (August 6, 2012, 16:24 GMT)

Congrats Sammy and team for such a great victory! Hope Sammy get supported as well for his victory. After all he get criticized the most despite west indies having more wins and draws than losses recently. LOL. You did it guys and now you have a world cup coming up! a big point to prove!

Posted by SirGarny on (August 6, 2012, 15:28 GMT)

Only decency and a Windies victory preclude me from giving captain Sammy the thrashing he deserves. This political-appointee captain should be commended along with the rest of the Windies. Well played Chris Gayle (apparantly the team needed the "Don" after all), Narsingh, Samuels, Powell and the reast. Let's not be under any illusion. Windies could not have beaten NZ with the previous lot of inexperienced, hit-or-miss youngsters and Hillaire, Hunte, and Gibson expedited the return of Chris Gayle in order to avoid further embarrasment. The return of Sarwan cannot be far behind if they are to continue to improve. Australia is no NZ and an even better effort will be required to avoid a whitewash.

Posted by mrhamilton on (August 6, 2012, 14:46 GMT)

The critics of Sammy are like demented madmen who refuse to see the light. Under Sammy and gibsons regime many previous underperformers like samuels, deonarine, best and rampaul have started to perform and improve their very weak averages. This regime have created an environment where players coming in are hungry and motivated like never before. The same has been true of Gayle and Narine who have come back or come in.Sarwan wasnt performing and now hes out. It wasnt ideal to have barath,powell and edwards at the top 3. Its better 1 of them fights for a place and right now its powells. with bravo jnr back this team will have solid batting. Sammy has led by example taking a 5 for to draw a series with PAK. they have now beaten NZ. and the three series with India & England despite 2-0 losses were competitive and lost in the odd bad session here and there.

Posted by   on (August 6, 2012, 14:43 GMT)

In 29 test matches 2007-2012, Sammy has scored 1066 runs, averaging 22.20. In 2012, 8 tests vs Austr, Engl and NZ he has made 440 runs at 36.66. In his 29 matches he has taken 71 wickets at 34.07. In 2012 in 8 tests he has 12 wickets at 53.83 and he bowled too much. His wicket- taking declined. His batting successes in 2012 came at key moments. Although keeping batsmen quiet can end up as giving batting practice , his virtue has always been an economy rate around 3.0 per over. He has got a little faster and he broke at least one threatening partnership. He seems to have a rallying effect on the team. Catching: excellent. Captaincy not astute or inspired but doesn't go on IPL leave. The question is: on the 2012 statistics, considering the effects of of his contributions in particular matches, and comparing him with other seam-bowling all-rounders , is there sufficient ground to remove him from the first eleven and from the sqaud altogether?

Posted by adkum on (August 6, 2012, 14:40 GMT)

Congratulations to WI. My biggest fear is that this victory would be used to perpetuate the folly of the WI board in having Sammy as captain and Gibson as coach. Sammy does not deserve a place in the team and cannot justify his position. The insularity of the WI board got him the job. After the first test victory Gibson was shouting "Gayle made a lot of difference". This is the same Gayle that Gibson and company did not want. Thanks to Caricom leaders Gayle is back. Now Caricom leaders must ask for Gibson and Hunte to go. These guys have kept back WI cricket for too long. Why is Sarwan and Taylor not in the team. Gayle's presence has given a confidence boost to the rest of the team, a boost that the underperforming captain cannot offer. In the ICC all rounder rankings Sammy is lowly placed below even Stuart Broad and is in company of Swann, Bresnan etc. Which other test playing country would tolerate a captain with such statistics?

Posted by   on (August 6, 2012, 13:53 GMT)

Since Sammy took over WI captcy(2010/2011), the team has been very competitive. No team has humiliated the WI( check record). We lost some & drew some. And with a mediocre team as some described it, Sammy included. Now we have a world class opener(Gayle) & a world class spinner( Narine), along with some versatile players we r winning, and will continue to do so for some time to come. Our next series is agst the Aussies & I expect a series win or draw & a quantum leap for the WI.

Posted by gloriouscricket on (August 6, 2012, 13:28 GMT)

Congratulation WI cricket team/management. We are climbing out of the bottom, we,re moving with determination to the top, still a lot of work to do.The return of CGayle was pivotal in our going forward, he set the tone for the confidence of the team,bashing NZ bowlers all over,the test was when he failed to score heavy in the 2nd test, it showed the WI have character--We,re still lacking in the batting.Samuels has shown he is not just a stroke player, he can put runs on the board in large numbers also.Credit to Deonarine --he,s solid as an all rounder.Kemar Roach--he needs to be partnered by 2 genuine quickies, for now ,Best & Johnson with Russell knocking @ the door.Play him please.The batting still needs Bravo Darren @ #3,Gayle & Powell has shown what can be when the top order clicks--Gayle, Powell,Samuels, Barath, Deonarine, This team is looking good.Credit must be given to D Sammy, he takes the beatings when we loose, we have just won a series,Credit to the WI-going forward.

Posted by   on (August 6, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

well said Dashgar he should be honored in some form or fashion...he as well as otis should be congratulated somehow by someone.

Posted by   on (August 6, 2012, 11:45 GMT)

I tire of hearing remarks about Sammy. Sammy just lead the WI to a comprehensive series victory against NZ and should be commended. When the team loses they blame Sammy and Gibson but when we win like we just did they dont get the credit. More quality players have come to the fore during Sammy's reign as leader and Gibson as coach than at anytime during the past 20 years. What the WI needs is leadership and we have a leader who leads and is improving with every series and indeed he has not missed a game ( I think) for WI during his entire period as WI captain.

WI did well against NZ but sterner tests will come for this WI team. Nothing good comes easy and this WI unit finally has the stability which breeds confidence in players brought through hard work. Hard work breeds discipline in those who are open to such discipline and want to their their hard work rewarded..

Long live WI cricket.

Posted by ranpath on (August 6, 2012, 11:27 GMT)

CONGRATULATIONS WEST INDIES YOU HAVE DONE YOUR COUNTRY PROUD ????? ..... do i have to keep reminding people that WI is NOT A COUNTRY .... but a conglomerate team of players from several countries.This explains the level of insularity that pertains in the region. I agree with the writer who asks if Sammy woulkd make any other team in the world. This was the guy who tried to make a big deal a few months back about NOT going to play in IPL so he could serve his "country". Some will remember that his IPL offering as $ 70000 us or so. He probably earns more than that playing for WI.

Posted by   on (August 6, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

The team did not win because of Sammy but in spite of him. There is no need to repeat what so many have said about his lack of leadership and captaincy skills. And this series victory is not a credit to the administration. After all if they had their way this team would have been without Gayle and Shiv. More importantly this victory ha snot miraculously wiped out the long standing problems nor will it do so. And one of those problems is the issue of Sarwan who would have been playing in any other current test team in the world. Nor is this victory a testimony to Otis. The only player he can actually be given some credit for moulding is Powell. And he too had wanted the senior players out - Gayle, Shiv and Samuels. Imagine what a srroy this series would have been without them.

Posted by PACERONE on (August 6, 2012, 10:34 GMT)

I do not see a replacement captain amongst the present players.What irks me about Sammy is that he is getting credit for what other players have done to improve the team.He does not change bowlers or try something to get wickets.he allows batsmen to settle.He could be bad for bowlers like Roach and Narine...bowling them into the ground.His overall play has improved..catching and batting.He should be trying harder to stat at the crease instead he gets out to a soft dismissal after playing a ODI inning.He must remember that our wicketkeeper is not reliable.Out top batsmen should talk more at the crease with our lower order..Roach,Best Rampaul.They have shown that they have enough talent and are capable to make runs.Our selectors have to infuse young good players before the lose their focus.A left arm spinner is needed in the team. I saw the coach working with Best during the Australian series...seems to have helped our fittest and most eager fast bowler.Well done W.I.

Posted by crickethung on (August 6, 2012, 9:55 GMT)

Can Darren Sammy make any Test team in the world apart from WI? If so, which one? It is time to move forward. Thanks Sammy ... you have done us really proud. Will the selectors be so brave to do the right thing for WI cricket? it would be a pleasant surprise from Butts and company.

Posted by crickethung on (August 6, 2012, 9:49 GMT)

Happy to see WI win. Gayle made a huge difference to this entire WI vs NZ series in all formats. He brought with him a confidence to the team which is invaluable to winning. On the other hand, I like Sammy as a person but I think that in order to really win stronger teams or even this same NZ team at their best we need another genuine wicket taker and Sammy has to give way for such a person. I am not a Sammy basher. Maybe we did need him in the test team for a bit but I think that this series shows quite clearly that we are short in the bowling and he cannot fill that void. He should always be in our T20 and ODI make up but lacks the cricketing skill for sustained Test cricket.

Posted by PrasPunter on (August 6, 2012, 9:42 GMT)

@Front-foot-lunge - days are not far away when the WI would send shivers down the spine of many an English batsman as they did during that epic 1984 whitewash. Remember that ? Remember who brought in the one- bouncer per over rule after being terrorised by the WI fast-bowling greats? WI really dominated in the 80s, Aus ruled the game in 90s and 2000s. Should I state the obvious about Eng ? @vivthegreatest, spot-on. The highly overrated bowlers just don't stand any where if the weather isn't conducive to their over-hyped bowling. Could easily imagine Sehwag coming down several steps down the wicket and lifting Anderson and Co all the way onto the stands, come November !!

Posted by SNIFFLEATHER on (August 6, 2012, 9:32 GMT)

With Darren Bravo to come back, likely at three, and Delorn Johnson knocking on the door louder with every match he plays (he should have debuted during this series), the West Indies will only get stronger. The victories breed confidence, and the main issue for West Indian test sides of late has been finishing teams off, as they have often put themselves into positions where they could well go on to win a game, only to let themselves down at the crunch. Now, with the experience and taste of victory, things could be different. Johnson must be brought into the side, he will add so much to the attack. Roach, Best and Johnson would be a formidable attack, with all being different but having one thing in common, i.e. real pace. Most of the side is taking shape now, but the six/seven/eight spots are still very debatable. For now though, lets enjoy the sweet taste of victory...its been a while.

Posted by VivtheGreatest on (August 6, 2012, 7:37 GMT)

@front foot lunge- Roach is also a far better bowler than any of the overrated English bowlers who havent a clue on unresponsive pitches

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (August 6, 2012, 6:19 GMT)

Sammy has taken the team to a position of where they are better than the likes of India or Australia: Roach is a better bowler than anyone in either of those teams. WI are on the way up.

Posted by citizenkc on (August 6, 2012, 5:44 GMT)

I don't think anyone can deny that Sammy has done a good job leading this team. There is unity and coherence here that has long since been missing. He has also contributed a few runs and kept the runs down. What he hasn't done is to take enough wickets or to make enough runs to justify his presence on the team. WI has the rare luxury of some excellent fast bowlers at the moment: Roach, Edwards, Rampaul, Best, Russell, Delorn Johnson. These are genuine fast bowlers and at least 3 of them need to pay. I think Sammy has to sacrifice his place for another strike bowler. It was obvious in this series that as soon as he came on the pressure eased on the NZ batsmen. Imagine if 4 of these men could be thrown at a batting opposition! Anyway, I don't want to minimize Sammy's contribution as captain, but the real truth is that he would not be selected if he were not so. Congrats, Sammy, but I really think another strike bowler would be good for WI cricket.

Posted by   on (August 6, 2012, 5:28 GMT)


Posted by bobagorof on (August 6, 2012, 4:29 GMT)

Dashgar: Sammy is like Batman - the hero that is needed, but not necessarily appreciated. I look forward to the day when West Indies are able to replace Sammy because he is no longer needed, in a year or two. Hopefully he will finally get the respect he has deserved for turning the team's fortunes around.

Posted by Dashgar on (August 6, 2012, 3:22 GMT)

Sammy is to the West Indian team what a plaster cast is to a broken bone. He gives it strength and support in a time of need and as it heals he will help it improve more quickly. However once fully healed the team will need to cut Sammy loose before they can take the final step to reach their best. That time is fast approaching but just for now Sammy has a little more time. When he is finally dropped we must all remember the great work he's done, but not be too sentimental either.

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