Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 29th 2014 Contents A65
Monday, September 29, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The recent home performances of the West
Indies women and men have heightened
expectations of good performances in
upcoming away tours---India, Australia
(women), South Africa and Australia/New
Zealand (ICC ODI World Cup). Additionally,
the franchise regional series, which bowls
off in November, will also provide an indi-
cator as to whether or not the regional game
is on the path to rebounding from its per-
petual decline starting in 1995.
The West Indies women s thrashing of New
Zealand 4--0 in the ODI series would have
come as a surprise even to the most ardent
West Indian supporter based on the overall
record between both teams. The Merissa
Aguilleira team dominated with outstanding
performances from a number of players, led
by Anisa Mohammed and Deandra Dottin.
The wins came against a relatively quiet series
for ace player Stephanie Taylor.
The victory over New Zealand (White Ferns)
has propelled the West Indies to second posi-
tion behind Australia (Southern Stars) on the
World Championship standing. The West
Indies and the Southern Stars meet in Novem-
ber in their leg of the World Championship.
Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy and Meg Lanning,
along with the bouncier and pacier Australian
pitches, will test the full repertoire of the West
Indians players skills.
The exceptional performance of the West
Indies women against New Zealand should
serve as a justification to the West Indies Board
to invest more resources in the women s game.
The senior regional tournament needs expand-
ing from five matches to at least ten as is being
done for the men s game. Additionally, the
WICB has to provide greater support for the
annual Under-19 Invitational tournament that
is staged in Trinidad. Such a move will con-
tribute to overall development where a bigger
pool of players will be available for selection
to the West Indies team.
The West Indies men embark on their tour
of India in October on a good showing in their
home series against New Zealand and
Bangladesh. Although they lost 2--1 to New
Zealand, there were encouraging signs in the
performances of Brathwaite, Bravo, Benn, Tay-
lor, Roach and the evergreen Chanderpaul.
These performances gelled in the subsequent
test series against Bangladesh resulting in a
However, a postmortem of both home series
will show that there is a lot of room for
improvement especially in the areas of fielding
and batting. Too many catches were spilled
which can be very costly against teams such
as India and South Africa. The scoring rates
were very painful at times which reflected
that the batsmen were either unwilling or
inept in rotating the strike to ensure scoreboard
pressure was kept on the bowlers and fielders.
Against quality bowlers such as Kumar, Shar-
ma, Shami, Ashwin and Ojha rotation of strike
will be crucial against self-destruction when
bowling pressure increases. West Indian bats-
men will do well to look at the performances
of English batsmen Gary Balance and Joe Root,
who scored heavily against the Indian bowlers
in their 2014, 3--1 home series win.
India will be coming hard at the West Indies
attempting to redeem themselves from the
humiliating defeat at the hands of England.
Denesh Ramdin will also be cognizant of the
poor performance of the West Indies one year
ago when they were humiliated by India 2--0,
losing both tests inside of three days. The
appalling display resulted in the current con-
vener of selectors, Clive Lloyd stating that the
then Darren Sammy team "looked drunk"
from too much T20 cricket and former Indian
captain Sunil Gavaskar referring to the team
as a "club side" and the worst West Indian
team to tour India. Ramdin, his players and
the entire management team have to ensure
that such a debacle is not repeated as it will
severely throwback current efforts to revitalise
the game in itself as well as support from fans
and potential sponsors.
The revival of West Indies cricket is at water-
shed moment with the introduction of fran-
chise regional cricket. The agreement between
the WICB and WIPA on franchise cricket rein-
forces the urgent need to invigorate an upswing
of regional cricket. One of the outcomes of
this approach should be greater levels of pro-
fessionalism among players, coaches and the
overall management of the game in the region.
It is expected that matches will last the
duration of the four days with batsmen
demonstrating consistency in runs scoring
and bowlers using their full range of skills to
outfox opposing batsmen. For all of this to
take place, it is crucial that good cricket wickets
are provided where batsmen and bowlers can
produce provided they are prepared to work
for their desired objectives---runs or wickets.
It will be foolhardy to expect a complete
turnaround of misfortunes with the upcoming
tours and the start of franchise regional cricket.
However, at the same time it is expected that
the evidence of a commitment to improvement
must be demonstrated by players, coaches
Player-of-the-Series Deandra Dottin receives the trophy from president of the St Vincent & the
Grenadines Cricket Association, Kishore Shallow, during the third Twenty20 International
between West Indies Women and New Zealand Women on Saturday.
PHOTO: WICB MEDIA/ASHLEY ALLEN
West Indies cricket at crossroads
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