Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 1st 2015 Contents A43
February 1, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
No-one expected West Indies
to beat South Africa, even if some
of us hoped for better overall WI
displays, but that shellacking has
been hard to comprehend, even
given all that had occurred before
and during that last SA tour.
But, as suggested to me fifty
years ago by my old queen, all bad
things must also come to an end.
So it has been with WI s difficult
2014/15 tour to SA!
Not many believed that all was
well within the team, especially
with WI squad for ICC CWC 2015
having to be selected and published
while also being walloped in SA,
but generally, only few players
enhanced claims to continuance
on our teams.
Losing this recent ODI series 4-
1 and Test series 2-0 reminded
some of WI s 1998/99 tour to SA,
which started with senior players
actually heading in the opposite
direction, away from SA, going
from Hong Kong s Sixes to be held
up in London to negotiate fees and
West Indies win one game in
1998/99 SA tour
While practicing with WI in
Johannesburg before Test No 1, the
first major game of 1998/99 s tour,
I casually asked one senior player
on WI s first full official team to
SA, after its emergence from
Apartheid, as to how he thought
WI would fare for the tour.
I expected that WI could either
win or lose the Test series 3-2 or
2-1, but would win the ODI series
4-3 or 5-2, as Courtney Walsh and
(Sir) Curtly Ambrose were still
bowling up storms of wickets!
"Crofty," the classic batsman
said clearly, openly, nonchalantly,
"we will not win a single game!"
He was only slightly wrong.
That 1998/99 tour was terrible,
WI at similar crossroads to 2015,
losing the ODI series 6-1 and the
Test series 5-0!
That player knew that, mentally,
the team had been severely shot
even before starting that tour, so
he did not expect many positives.
How WI recovers in 2015 could be
Luckily for present WI players
and selectors, before they could
even contemplate as to how to
tackle England and Australia in
Test series later this year, there is
ICC s biggest tournament, CWC
2015, to focus on, giving all con-
cerned some much needed breath-
ing space after touring SA.
But WI already has a somewhat
confusing development for ICC
CWC 2015. Sunil Narine has
dropped himself, thus robbing WI
of its most potent bowling asset.
How the team copes without Nar-
ine is anyone s guess, since,
strangely, he has been replaced
with Nakita Miller, yet another
left-arm orthodox spinner, similar
to already selected Suleiman Benn.
Somehow, WI s selectors seemed
to have contradicted themselves
twice with Miller s selection!
Super-50 2015 tournament could
not have been completed before
WI selected its ICC CWC 2015
squad, but if selected players were
to be replaced, for whatever rea-
sons, then the Super-50 tourna-
ment ought to have been used to
air-mark such replacements.
Narine was easily the best
bowler for Super 50; twelve wick-
ets; closely followed by Verasammy
Permual; eleven; Davindra Bishoo
and Dwayne Bravo; nine wickets
each. Miller had six.
If indeed another orthodox leg-
spinner was to replace Narine, then
that should have been Permaul.
Interestingly, two WI selectors,
Courtney Browne and Walsh, were
at games at Queen s Park Oval.
Did they see the same games that
we saw, noting that Permaul, in
this his prime time, has "a golden
arm"? Whatever the guy bowls
nowadays simply gets wickets!
In the franchised four-day com-
petition which started late-2014,
continuing later this week, Perpaul
already has thirty-two wickets for
Guyana from only four games.
He is bowling brilliantly and his
confidence is at its peak, so this
is when he should be selected for
higher WI honors, not when he
starts to fade away.
I would actually have gone for
Bishoo. Selecting two front-line
orthodox left-arm spinners in an
ODI squad makes no sense.
Bishoo s right-arm leg-breaks
would have presented vast varia-
tions, not to mention his intelligent
late-order batting too.
Dismissing everything else that
had occurred recently, I may even
have gone for Dwayne Bravo way
before Miller, if Bravo was fit
enough to last CWC 2015 s jour-
Incidentally, both Permaul, 25,
and Bishoo, 29, are much younger
than Miller, who is 32.
Noting WI s Chief Selector Clive
Lloyd s public comment; "We really
and truly want to pick people on
what they have done for our cricket
and not for anyone else, with a
focus on the future", after omis-
sions of Dwayne Bravo and Kieron
Pollard from WI s World Cup
squad, one has to ask:
What else does Verasammy Per-
maul have to do to be re-selected
for WI teams?
That Permaul, Bishoo and
Guyana s Jaguars were badly out-
foxed by Trinidad & Tobago s Red
Force, especially Narine s six wick-
ets for nine runs in the final, was
At least, the two best teams met
in that final, a good overview of
2015 s competition.
'Disappointments, surprises and successes'
COLIN EH CROFT
Links Archive January 31st 2015 February 2nd 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page