No cause for panic... yet

Wed, Jul 25, '18

by KRISSANIA YOUNG

Commentary

After a comprehensive 2-0 whitewash over Bangladesh in the Test series, Windies slumped to a disappointing 48-run defeat to the visitors in the first ODI over the weekend to trail the series 1-0. The loss was disappointing as the Caribbean side fell short in the areas which have been continuously highlighted as needing work. There is however no need to panic as entering into this series it was obvious that Holder and his men had a lot to work on. Fortunately, there is also a lot to work with.

The batting line-up of Gayle, Lewis, Hope, Hetmyer, Mohammed, Holder, Powell and Russell has the potential ability (on paper) to get close to, if not chase down any total. There is a saying that “winning is a habit”, one that Windies needs to adapt. This is where fulfilling the potential of this batting line-up comes into play. Windies must attempt to make the simple things in their batting repetitive and do them well. The simple things such as taking singles, consciously setting small targets and developing partnerships.

During the first ODI, there was a deliberate attempt from the experienced Chris Gayle to take sharp singles; he was not as explosive as his usual self but he ended with 40 runs. Gayle’s innings included only three boundaries (16 runs); sixty percent of his runs came from running between the wickets. So too Hetmyer, over sixty-one percent of his fifty-two runs came from running between the wickets. Together, the two were involved in Windies’ second largest partnership.

Admittedly, there are concerns over the bowling attack of Holder, Russell, Joseph, Bishoo and Nurse. While it is no fault of the selectors why Roach was not included in this squad, this bowling unit is still found wanting in perhaps an experienced fast-bowler? Also, Windies dropping five catches does not take away from the fact that they were not producing enough wicket-taking deliveries. Equally, at the back end of the innings the home team has yet to identify a death-bowler. This is very disheartening as death-bowlers often times emerge as match-winners. Windies will go into the 2nd ODI on July 25th with the same issues they began the series with. However, they started out knowing they were going for a swim across the ocean, now that they’ve encountered sharks there is no reason to feign surprise; after all, the ocean is where sharks live.