It will get worse before it gets better for the West Indies

Sun, Jun 30, '19


WI World Cup

Where do we go from here? India effectively called curtains on the West Indies’ 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup campaign, by way of a 125-run defeat the Asian giants handed the Caribbean men last Thursday. For all the talk of this West Indies team having a better batting unit than it does a bowling unit, with just two games remaining in WINDIES’ tournament, this particular tree has yet to bear fruit.

The West Indies left the Caribbean for England with the backing of the fans. Still, they have only managed to embarrass us every step of the way on the world’s biggest stage. Were we expecting too much? Surely not, since decent showings, fight and spirit are bases professional sportsmen cover without a second thought.

Following a fantastic bowling display from Roach and company, which handed their batting counterparts a gettable 269 runs for victory, the latter failed to put up any fight… yet again. The recurring theme of talent, potential and lack of application with West Indian batsmen is on the fast track to Growing Old. The unwillingness to adapt to varying situations, highlights a lack of game awareness from the men in maroon. If we choose to attribute this to youthful exuberance; then, in the case of one Christopher Henry Gayle, what would be his excuse? Okay, maybe we should reiterate that “T20 cricket is destroying cricket”. Again, we cannot. As the other Full Member nations in the competition also engage the format, still it is only an excuse for the West Indies. However, to say “T20 cricket is destroying West Indies Cricket” would be a better turn of phrase. Still, I fail to agree wholeheartedly. 

Since, I hold fast that we should obey when interim head coach Floyd Reifer spits the cliche ‘look to the future’. As there are potentially many a dazzling moment ahead for West Indies. This opinion being formed on the interested talents which currently lace WINDIES 50-over circuit: the likes of John Campbell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Keemo Paul, Oshane Thomas, Fabian Allen, Obed McCoy, Sherfane Rutherford, Alzarri Joseph etc. Are you not looking to the future? 

However, before we get there, we will be made to endure much more. We will pine until Hetmyer and company learn to adapt–if Hetmyer and company learn to adapt. Which, I believe, most importantly, they want to. We will pine until West Indies becomes a chatty team–sharing inform. When the senior players learn to share their observations with the news kids on the block–which Holder, Roach and Cottrell failed to do with Thomas on Thursday.

We will pine until the West Indies figures out that the in-between format is more akin to the longest than it is to the shortest. Therefore, balance will shift several times in a single innings. And the team more effective in  inducing these shifts will come out on top. Until these realizations hit the West Indies in their collect faces, we must wait. We will watch and quarrel (obviously), but now with the understanding that there will be nothing overnight about changes in fortune the Caribbean men will have in the future.

And with England getting the better of India today, it means that the watching and waiting begins in a dead rubber against Sri Lanka at the Riverside Ground on Monday morning. k