Ignored by the controversy surrounding India’s determination to name off a Check Match needing 86 runs off 90 balls was the continued enchancment of their counterparts. Since a 2-1 sequence loss in opposition to Australia in 1995, the West Indies have fallen spectacularly from their place on the high of the cricketing world. Gamers resembling Clive Lloyd, Malcolm Marshall and Sir Viv Richards (to call just a few) retired throughout a 5 12 months interval which devastated a youthful facet in the long run.
However are we lastly now about to witness a renaissance in one of the vital thrilling sides, traditionally, in world cricket?
First, here’s a comparability of the West Indies’ performances in Check sequence earlier than and after the Australia defeat:
1980-1994: Performed 29, Received 20, Drawn 9, Misplaced 0
1995-Now: Performed 50, Received 13, Drawn 7, Misplaced 30
NOTE: a mere look at these stats highlights simply how extraordinary a workforce the West Indies of the 80s and early 90s have been. A possible future article could possibly be a comparability of them and the exploits of the Australian facet who snatched the mantle of ‘best cricketing facet on the planet’ from them.
Now, let’s look at the performances of the latter West Indies facet additional:
1995-2003: Performed 25, Received 10, Drawn 2, Misplaced 13
2004-Now: Performed 25, Received 3, Drawn 5, Misplaced 17
When you think about that these 3 victories got here in opposition to Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and an England facet nonetheless reeling from the Pietersen-Moores debacle and it compounds the astonishing collapse of an excellent cricketing nation.
This barren interval for the Windies consists of whitewashes to South Africa, Australia and England and even the ignominy of a 2-0 defeat at residence to Bangladesh in 2009.
Nonetheless, a shoots of life have abruptly sprouted from a facet below the captaincy of Darren Sammy boasting numerous thrilling younger abilities to mix with a few of the extra skilled campaigners. After all, now we have been down this street earlier than with the West Indies. Who can overlook Dwayne Smith and his 93-ball hundred on Check debut in opposition to South Africa. Some of the naturally proficient batsman when it comes to means to see and strike the ball, Smith averaged a paltry 16.22 in 77 ODIs for West Indies.
NOTE: As a comparability, in 201 ODIs Brett Lee has averaged 16.25 runs to go along with his 349 wickets. I do know who I would moderately have in my facet.
Even now we nonetheless get handled to the occasional exhilarating innings from Kieron Pollard – a person who 4 IPL franchises noticed match to bid the $750,000 for (for cricketing or advertising causes I’m wondering?). But, Pollard has thus far managed simply 4 50s in 42 ODIs and has a T20 common of 12.33. Hardly the stuff that retains quick bowlers awake at evening.
However now, the Windies have launched a core of kids who’re starting to carry out constantly for them as a substitute of conserving their place within the workforce on untapped potential. Amongst them is Darren Bravo, half-brother of team-mate Dwayne, who has drawn comparisons with non apart from the good Brian Lara (by the way, his second cousin). For a left-handed batsman who performs in an analogous model to the Trinidadian legend, it’s excessive reward contemplating his failure so far to attain a century in Exams or ODIs. Moreover, one want solely take a look at the variety of Brazilian and Argentinian footballers labelled the subsequent Pele or Maradona to see the strain this could instill on a younger man. Nonetheless, a mean of 40 and 33 within the respective varieties is an encouraging begin by the 22 year-old who nonetheless has time on his facet.
Kemar Roach is one other one who was drafted into the workforce on the tender age of 19 and has impressed the critics. Able to bowling at speeds of as much as 93mph, Roach made his worldwide debut within the T20 match in opposition to Australia in 2008 having solely performed in 4 first-class matches beforehand. Ending with match-best figures of two/29 signaled the his huge potential. Up to now, Roach averages under 30 with the ball in all types of cricket. Much more spectacular, he led an inexperienced Windies assault in Australia in 2009, drawing reward from the likes of Ricky Ponting and Ian Chappell as a star of the longer term. Roach was additionally the person of the sequence the next 12 months in Sri Lanka – a rustic recognized for offering sluggish and dusty pitches unhelpful for quick bowlers. A hat-trick in opposition to the Netherlands on this 12 months’s World Cup aided him on his method to career-best figures of 6/27.
Devendra Bishoo and Kirk Edwards have each just lately develop into regulars in each codecs. Bishoo. a leg-spinner, has impressed many along with his attacking model of bowling and has develop into considered one of many Windies’ major wicket-takers. Much more entertaining is his post-match interviews! Edwards just lately scored a dogged 110 in opposition to India on his Check debut to assist draw the match: displaying quite a lot of dedication and grit in his innings.
Add to those younger gamers skilled performers resembling Shivnarine Chanderpaul (who, at 36, remains to be going sturdy judging by his current century in opposition to India), Dwayne Bravo and Ramnaresh Sarwan and there’s a core group of gamers to introduce an thrilling new starting for the Caribbean.
Regardless of this, questions nonetheless proceed to encompass the workforce. The controversy surrounding the long-standing feud between former-captain Chris Gayle and the West Indies Cricket Board has lengthy overshadowed their current achievements (a abstract of which could be discovered right here). Certainly, this saga underlines the dearth of professionalism nonetheless inherent inside the Windies’ administration nonetheless seething from the pay disputes of 2009.
Moreover, there are nonetheless query marks surrounding the worthiness of captain Darren Sammy’s place within the facet. The skipper has did not justify his choice as an all-rounder conserving Kemar Roach out of the facet with a sequence of poor performances with the bat overshadowing his average success with the ball. Nonetheless, a current interview with CricInfo highlighted Sammy’s dedication to instill knowledgeable ethos, excessive health ranges and extra publicity to younger expertise with the intention to additional his workforce.
Sammy has acknowledged his goal being to succeed in the highest 5 with the West Indies by 2015. After years of merely deciding on their greatest participant for the position of captain, perhaps the English method of prioritising management expertise over expertise (Hussain, Atherton, Vaughan and Prepare dinner in ODIs) could show to be the proper one in pointing this proud cricketing nation in the proper route.