Full strength Windies in Hyderabad the team to judge

Thu, Oct 11, '18


Windies v India

A daunting task lies ahead of the Windies, in their quest to rectify their disappointing first Test outing against hosts India, when the second Test bowls off at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Thursday October 11, at 11:00 p.m., ECT. This, a ground that has previously hosted four Test matches, in which India failed to claim a mere three of a possible eighty wickets, with three matches producing results, all in favour of the home side, two of which were by an innings victory margin. Windies enters the match with their backs against the wall, after failing to bat a combined one-hundred overs during the first Test and also failing to reach the two-hundred mark in either of their turn at the crease, sparking many harsh words in their direction form sections of the cricketing world.

Windies captain, Jason Holder, has however come out swinging in favour of his charges ahead of the second Test, calling for patience and sending a reminder of his team’s recent run of form in this format of the game (WDLWWL). After Holder’s press address, one would be inclined to agree with the Windies skipper (even if only partially), calling to mind the impressive summer the Caribbean team had against both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, teams who were ranked ahead of them in the ICC Test Rankings. To give some perspective to the loss, the Caribbean men entered the first Test behind the eight ball, before a ball was even bowled, lining up without forty-four of the ninety-six (of a possible one-hundred) wickets which were claimed this summer, with the loss of senior man Kemar Roach and captain, Jason Holder.

Does this, however, excuse the batting display of the team? There is a fine line between attacking and being reckless. It was during the second innings that Windies crossed this line when, even after wickets were tumbling, there seemed to be no attempt to adjust the plan to attack, no plan ‘B’. What was so disappointing about this display, is that the visitors thrust aside all the things they did well this summer: consolidating, forming partnerships and aiming for the 90-over mark. On the contrary, Windies batsmen failed to find the necessary balance between defence and attack, along with striker rotation, to cause the Indians any problems. With the team facing that intimidating first innings total of 649, however, one of the fundamental principles of the game occurred: runs on the board equalled to pressure.

Windies missed the plot in playing the extra batsman, as opposed to the left-arm orthodox spinner, Jomel Warrican; removing the balance a fifth bowler brought to the team. The moment the decision was made to play four bowlers, was the moment Devendra Bishoo was damned to bowl over a half-century of overs. This work load removed any sting the Guyanese would have had, had he been kept fresh. There is however, hope that Windies will return with a fighting performance, starting later this evening. After all, they have done it before against England in Headingley (2017) and Pakistan in Sharjah (2016). All things being equal, hopefully, along with the return of Holder and Roach, we can then judge a full-strength Windies team, a team with their skipper, as, despite your thoughts on Jason Holder, he is the undoubtedly the leader of this unit.