Windies Fits Another Missing Piece to Puzzle?

Wed, Jul 4, '18



The spoils were shared as Windies and Sri Lanka ended a drama-filled series on level terms. The visitors were able to claim the first Asian Test victory at Kensington Oval in the final Test to end the series 1-1. Ultimately, it was a contest of individually brilliant performances in which the hosts were made to rue mistakes, while Sri Lanka was left to regret missed opportunities. Although, through all the drama, record-breaking and what skipper Jason Holder labelled as ‘silly mistakes’, the Caribbean men might have fitted another piece to the proverbal puzzle that is now Windies Cricket—playing five bowlers.

The decision by Windies to play the ‘extra bowler’ was indeed the correct one and looks to be one which will be pivotal in the quest to complete the transition in which they have been situated for far too long. The current West Indies setup of five bowlers allows for the most balance we have seen in the Regional senior team for quite some time. The West Indies bowlers took 56 wickets out of a possible 60 over the course of the series, the most they’ve managed over a three-match contest during Holder’s captaincy.

Yes, Miguel Cummins went wicketless after the first innings of the first Test in Trinidad. However, what having a third seamer (following Gabriel and Roach) does, in addition to the talents of Jason Holder, is to initiate a second weave of pace attack for opposition batsmen to contend with. It also aids in sharing the bowling duties which calls a halt to the strenuous use of Devendra Bishoo. In the instance of the current West Indies team, the fifth bowler cannot be one who will just pick up the odd wicket but must be a wicket-taking attacking option. That being said, the likely replacement for Cummins, should the West Indies decide to make a change going into the upcoming series versus Bangladesh, would be Keemo Paul.

With their catching needing incessant work, the Caribbean men also need to get a handle on the gnawing no-ball issue which has plagued the side for two years. Although, the short comings of the team throughout the series was also charged to the misfiring of the top-order. With it being likely that Shimron Hetmyer will come into the team, Windies fans would be well within their right to get excited in anticipation of the impending rise from these tweaks and changes. This is not to belittle the issues identified, but we have seen the Windies bowlers change their run up marks and make the necessary adjustments to stay behind the line during matches. The captain himself was also quite confident of his team rectifying this problem. Ultimately, if the slip cordon takes the time out to better themselves in practice they will be able to hold on to the ball when it comes to them and put on a better outing against the Bangladeshis.