Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 31st 2015 Contents A48
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt May 31, 2015
That headline was par-
aphrased from a United
States Marines Corp
in which a magnificently
fit Master Sergeant sug-
gests: "In the Marines, we
do not worry about what
we do not have. We focus
on what we do have to get
the job done!"
So it must be with West
Indies cricket team to play
against Australia later this
week, with the absence of
after over 21 years of incumbency. All good things too
must come to an end. So let it be with Shiv! But,
judging from that last Test against England last month
which showed that with tenacity, determination and
guts, any cricket team, including WI, lowly rated as
they are, could beat any other team; and recently con-
cluded WICB President s XI drawn game against the
Aussie tourists, who exactly does WI Test team have
for the upcoming two Tests against the Aussies?
While the resurrection of the President s XI has
been lauded, one of the primary reasons for its past
existence was to highlight up-and-coming peripheral
players who could, in the not-too-distant future,
become viable place-holders in WI Test teams proper.
When fast bowlers Joel Garner, Norbert Philip and
Colin Croft were selected for President s XI against
Pakistan in 1976/77, none of us thought that we had
any chance whatsoever of playing Test cricket that
year. Just before that tour, in 1976, Michael Holding,
Wayne Daniel and Andy Roberts, ably abetted by
Bernard Julien, Vanburn Holder and Collis King, had
terrorized England almost to death after its captain,
Tony Greig, had suggested that "he and England would
make West Indies grovel!"
Ironically, by the time Pakistan arrived in the
Caribbean in 1976/77, Holding and Daniel were injured.
After President s XI had beaten Pakistan in St. Lucia,
with Joel and me getting most of the wickets, we were
selected, out of the blue, to play in that historic 1st
Test in Barbados; our first. We did not do too badly
and the rest is now history but it also showed that
anything can happen! Another useful aspect of Pres-
ident s XI s in years gone by was to give actual, regular
Test players, those who were somewhat rusty or not
fully on the ball, a chance to get themselves settled
and into proper rhythm to get many wickets or gazil-
lions of runs, at least to get some sort of form.
Alvin Kallicharran, an absolutely integral part of
WI s batting line-up in 1976/77, was WICB s President
XI s captain v Pakistan. He was selected to get quick
form, and to lead a young team, perhaps with future
situations in mind. He got runs in President s XI and
then in the Tests too. So, WICB s present selectors,
while praised for foresight of reintroducing the obvious
importance of the President s XI, erred somewhat
with their selections for that game last week v Australia.
Especially Kemar Roach should have been given a
chance for long spells at the Aussies before Test No.
1 starts in Dominica on Wednesday, as he looked badly
out of shape and out of pace against England. In two
Tests, he had only five wickets, each costing 53.00
runs, from 78 overs.
Opener Shai Hope too should have been allowed
to play against the Aussies last week. If he is to make
runs, he must face them eventually. There is nothing
like confidence that comes with runs and WI badly
needs another regular opening batsman to go with
Kraigg Brathwaite. Now that yet another opener, Rajin-
dra Chandrika, has made 74 v the Aussies, and pug-
nacious wicket-keeper batsman Shane Dowrich also
made two half-centuries; 78 and 53 not out; in that
game, do not be surprised if one of these, or both,
'WI Test cricket team---
focusing on what we do have!'
COLIN EH CROFT
are included in WI s squad for Test No. 1.
Faster bowler Carlos Brathwaite too, with
50 and three wickets against the Aussies,
could also be in for a wonderful surprise. He
is improving with every delivery, his body
seemingly becoming better attuned to being
a good all-rounder. He certainly could put
pressures on Roach s place.
Shannon Gabriel did not look too badly
against England, but he, like Roach, needs
much work too. Batsmen worth their salt
know that bowlers cannot simply bowl only
a few overs fast. Fast bowlers are exactly that,
expected to bowl quickly, even if it is in the
final session of Day 5!
Jerome Taylor leads the fast bowling pack
and looked good, if not fast, against England,
while towering Jason Holder, that tremen-
dously talented bowling all-rounder, seems
to be understanding his roll more precisely
as every day of his budding international
Only one of orthodox leg-spinner
Veerasammy Permaul or right-arm leg-
spinner Davendra Bishoo would probably
play in Test No. 1, but would that not be
special if WI selectors allow both to operate
Between them, they could guarantee fifty
runs per innings at the crease and six wickets
per innings with the ball too, so why not!
Captain and wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin,
improving Jermaine Blackwood, veteran
Marlon Samuels and still unfulfilled Darren
Bravo must certainly play, expecting to do
even better against the vaunted Aussies.
Simply, WI must focus on what we have!
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