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No shame in defeat, West Indies

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

It is said that there is no shame in defeat when the vanquished have fought valiantly leaving everything on the pitch.

This is certainly the case with the defeated but not disgraced West Indies touring squad to England in the recently concluded Investec Test cricket series.

All the people of the Caribbean wanted from this young and inexperienced squad was some fight. WI got that and more!

Apart from the first Test which is now best forgotten, the boys responded positively to their detractors. I was one of the loudest of them so I should know.

It is not that I had lost hope (pun intended). But I had joined Sir Gary Sobers in weeping over the sad state of the regional squad in Tests and ODIs as I saw the rise of previous non threatening teams like Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

WI must now continue to fight with all its collective might to put smiles on the faces of the living legends like Sobers and the people of the Caribbean at large.

You see, Jason Holder and his men picked themselves off the mat after being easily pinned by Joe Root in the non event of the first Test and treated the English lions like scared pussy cats as Shai Hope, Jermaine Blackwood and Kraigg Braithwaite batted like if their lives were at stake to pound English pride at Headingly by levelling the series 1-1.

However, as is always the case, there is room for improvement. Out of all the batsmen only Hope, Blackwood and Braithwaite managed scores over 50 in the series.

Truth be told, these were the three musketeers of the series for the regional squad. If WI could not have done better than this that would not have been a problem. But WI can, so WI must!

WI now have the talent in the region to have regular ton-makers up to number eight in the batting line-up. This includes the likes of the musketeers, Darren Bravo, Anthony Alleyne, Nicholas Pooran and JH Hamilton.

Somebody needs to tell the musketeers, Roston Chase and Bravo, that they are easily blessed with the talent to average over 50 as batters and WI are not prepared to accept anything less from them!

In the bowling department, WI must, with proper management, have the best bowling attack in no more than four years with the likes of Alzarri Joseph, Chemar Holder, Kemo Paul, Shamar Springer and Rakheem Hamilton coming through.

WI must also improve tactically. Some inexplicable blunders were made on this tour.

How could WI have taken only one keeper on tour so that there was no back up for the failing Shane Dowrich who was begging the earth to open up and swallow him by the Third Test at Lords due to the demise of his self belief.

Here WI played two spinners on a pitch that had not taken turn in ages! Also, with the ball seaming and swinging square of the wicket no batter came out of his crease to reduce the room for the sphere to move and throw the British bowlers off their nefarious lengths.

This was unacceptable at the highest level of the gentleman’s game especially with Bangladesh making the mighty Aussies fight hard for a 1-1 series draw in their recently concluded Test series in the Indian sub continent.

But enough of that for now... it is time to praise WI boys not pound them!

Fitzroy Othello

West Indies Patriot


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