Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 7th 2015 Contents A44
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt June 7, 2015
Contrary to obtuse thoughts, every-
thing does start at the beginning. That
debilitating three-day loss by West
Indies in Test No 1 to Australia in
Dominica last Friday was prescribed
by the final WI XI selected before a
ball was bowled.
Despite spirited batting from debu-
tant Shane Dowrich and Marlon
Samuels in WI s 2nd innings, one par-
ticular selection made WI incapable of
winning No 1.
Remembering that "common sense
is not always common", why did WI
selectors Clive Lloyd, Courtney Walsh,
Eldine Baptiste and Courtney Browne
pick a third fast bowler, Shannon
Gabriel, instead of what was needed
on that well-known Warner Park spin-
ner-friendly pitch, a second full-fledged
spinner in left-arm orthodox Veerasam-
Playing to your strength
Could it have been that Lloyd; 110
Tests; who captained a world-beating
team with great fast bowlers, or Walsh;
132 Tests, one of those greats, or Bap-
tiste; 10 Tests; another faster bowler
under Lloyd s captaincy, or Browne; 20
Tests; who was poor to spin anyway
as a wicket-keeper, still do not know,
appreciate or understand what is meant
by "using horses for courses"?
Even with fast bowling legacies, WI
present selectors should have known
the history of spin at Windsor Park.
That blinkered omission of Permaul
caused WI to lose Test No 1.
WI s present faster bowlers Gabriel,
Jason Holder and Jerome Taylor do not
compare favorably to Aussie fast-men
Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and
Everything starts at the beginning,
so due to four decades of involvement
in several aspects of aviation, I mostly
refer to that industry for examples for
real life and sports too.
Experience v common sense
Nineteen years ago; May 1996; a
commercial flight, ValuJet Flight 592,
a Mc Donnell-Douglas DC-9, burned
then crashed into the Florida Everglades
relatively close to Miami International
Airport, ten minutes after take-off,
killing all 110 persons aboard.
That accident could easily have been
avoided too, but that flight was doomed
even before it left the parking gate.
There was nothing that the two expe-
rienced cockpit crew, with a combined
nearly 21,000 flying hours between
them, could have done to save them-
selves and passengers, as unknown to
them, the ground handlers had packed
illegal-to-carry hazardous materials
into baggage holds.
Once airborne, the Hazmat ignited.
That was that!
Last week, Windsor Park was hosting
only its fourth Test overall, having host-
ed India in 2011, Australia in 2012 and
Zimbabwe in 2013. Dominica s first
ever Test was drawn, but the latter two
were won by deadly spin bowling from
Australia and WI.
Spin works on right pitch
In 2012, with Shiv Chanderpaul
aboard---he made two half centuries---
Australia beat WI by seventy-five runs,
courtesy of left-arm spinner and captain
Michael Clarke s second innings 5 for
86, coupled with off-spinner Nathan
Lyons match figures 7-156. Permaul
is a much better spinner than Clarke!
Dominican WI off-spinner Shane
Shillingford had excellent match-figures
then too; 81.5-16-219-10; while WI s
part-time off-spinner Narsingh
Deonarine also had three wickets.
So, between Lyons, Clarke, Deonar-
ine, Shillingford and David Warner,
who had 1-21 with occasional leg-
breaks, spin bowling accounted for 26
of 40 wickets taken in that game!
When WI beat Zimbabwe in 2013 by
an innings and sixty-five runs, Shilling-
ford had even more impressive match-
figures with his off-breaks and doos-
ras ; 36.5-8-93-10. Marlon Samuels
off-breaks contributed well too; match-
Further, Zimbabwe s off-spinner
Prosper Utseya and right-arm leg-spin-
ner Graeme Cremer, ala Davendra
Bishoo, took five of eight WI wickets
to fall in that game.
So, in the last Test at Windsor Park
before last week, twenty-one of twen-
ty-eight wickets to fall were taken by
Pacer Gabriel v spinner Permaul
How could present WI s selectors
not know these facts or did they have
yet another agenda?
Were Lloyd and Company over-rid-
den by captain Denesh Ramdin and
coach Philip Simmons, both of T&T,
in selecting T&T native Gabriel instead
of Permaul, who, incidentally, was
WICB s 2015 four-day First-Class com-
petition s leading wicket-taker with 69
Does WI s selection committee have
something else against Permaul, as he
was also overlooked in recent World
Cup 2015, for Nakita Miller, and was
only belatedly called up against England
Permaul s omission was costly to WI,
especially when the only front-line
spinner, Bishoo, bowled beautifully for
6-80 from 33 tantalizing but tiring
Permaul also bats infinitely better
than Gabriel. What is going on here?
Bishoo needed Permaul s partnership
when Australia were depleted to 178-
8 in 1st innings, after WI had made a
That small lead was extended to 170
runs by Adam Voges tremendous initial
Test innings; 130 not out, with the help
WEST INDIES VS AUSTRALIA
WI batting line-up before Test No
1 v Australia has only two batsmen,
Darren Bravo; 43.18; and Jermaine
Blackwood; 50.36; with batting averages
better than 40 runs per innings, so WI
could not have hoped to frighten Aus-
tralia with batting power.
Therefore, the only way WI could
have won Test No. 1 would have been
to "bowl them out"; dismiss Australia
twice, but WI did not have the bowling
personnel to accomplish such!
Maybe WICB President Dave
Cameron will address these concerns
in his next "Town-Hall" meeting in
Guyana soon, but much of this makes
no sense at all, at least not to me. (See
story on page 54)
Veerasammy Permaul, left-arm orthodox spinner.
COLIN EH CROFT
Windies badly let
down by selectors
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