Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 10th 2013 Contents A71
November 10, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Not as a former West Indies
cricketer who always gave 100 per
cent or a bowler once rated No 1
in the world---my cricketing expe-
riences can be referenced---but as
a Caribbean person, I am terribly,
totally, embarrassed, angry too at
West Indies dismal, shambolic loss
to India in the first Test.
Did anyone who honestly sup-
ports West Indies, not shouters,
soup-catchers, yes-persons, bell-
ringers and ubiquitous hangers-on,
India is laughing at us, beaten in
just three days by an innings and
Whenever I objectively critique
West Indies, as in Champions Tro-
phy 2013, when our cricketers at
the crease seemed unable to under-
stand or appreciate Duckworth-
Lewis calculations, even as they
were highlighted on the scoreboard,
I am normally ostracised, even
directly threatened with banishment
from West Indies cricket.
We lost then, eliminated from
the competition, from a winning
So, as actor Dan Ackroyd suc-
cinctly suggested in one of my most
favourite movies, Trading Places:
"If that the way they want it, no
Life goes on!
While not taking myself too seri-
ously or importantly, I have survived
everything thrown at me, despite
extremely severe external stimuli.
I will continue to do so, with God s
But I definitely will not, being fit
and fully cognizant at age 60, lie,
especially not to myself.
COLIN EH CROFT
What an embarrassing display by West Indies
So, with knowledge that this messenger will probably
be killed again, universally hated, metaphorically---I
must be Dracula---and this message not heeded, I say
Facts: West Indies second innings batting effort was
as desperately poor as I have seen in Test cricket and
I have been watching Tests since, as a 12-year-old,
witnessing Australia s tour to West Indies 1965.
Most of West Indies bowling too, despite off-spinner
Shane Shillingford s Herculean input---55-9-167-6 -
was just popcorn stuff.
How did India get from 6-156 to 453? Good batting
from Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin and
also obnoxious West Indian bowling.
West Indies batted in the second innings, just over
ODI limits (50 overs) on a perfectly placid pitch, lasting
only 54.1 overs, for 168, in two sessions play.
Shillingford alone bowled more overs than West
Indies batted second dig.
Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Mandrekar tweeted:
"It is so pleasing to see a seam bowler, (Mohammed
Shami), not a spinner, win a Test for India in typical
Indian conditions!"---140 characters were never so
Where were team resolve, determination and occu-
pation-of-the-crease acuity of our vaunted batsmen?
Had it not been for Marlon Samuels in the first
innings and Shiv Chanderpaul in the second, our
embarrassment would have been greater.
This is not about not playing many long games
recently anymore. This is more about our represen-
tatives obviously not being able to think for more than
a few hours on end.
Even captain Darren Sammy confirmed that.
West Indies first innings lasted less than the entire
Day One. Test cricket lasts five days. Required cranial
energies must last that long too.
With associated personnel in dressing rooms nowa-
days---it must be like carnival in there now---where is
that vital ingredient, a batting coach who knows how
to teach necessary mental elements of batting and
physical skills, required for strength and resilience?
West Indies were dismissed by a fast bowler
Mohammed Shami; magnificent match figures of 9-
118---on a pitch that supposedly gave West Indies fast
bowlers no assistance at all. Tino Best had 17-0-71-
1; Sheldon Cottrell 18-3-72-1. With time and effort,
debutant Cottrell may do okay.
Best was extremely atrocious and must be past his
"sell-by" date now, out-bowled by Cottrell, which
does not say much. Stupid on-the-field antics do
not make a fast bowler!
If I had played this Test and had Best s experience
and figures---21 Tests and only 48 wickets---amazingly
just over two wickets per Test, for a front-line bowler,
I would have thought that my place in the team had
to be in jeopardy, that I needed to perform, not just
be some idiot on the field playing up to the crowd.
I would also have been ashamed to have been seen
to be so innocuous when another was so brilliant.
That is why I almost always out-bowled my more
illustrious fast bowling partners when I played Tests.
Check it! One gets the impression that all West Indies
at Kolkata was trying to do was to be nice.
Test cricket is not a beauty contest, not for babies
nor a joke. It is tantamount to war, fighting for seven
Similarly angering was another former Indian crick-
eter Sunil Gavaskar, condescending, patronising and
disingenuous, suggesting that West Indies always
played the game in the right spirit, wonderful to say
when your team wins.
What crap! Gavaskar seems to have selective mem-
ory. He, his captain, Bishen Singh Bedi and team, on
surrendering that Test to West Indies in Jamaica in
1976, openly called West Indian fast bowlers Wayne
Daniel, Vanburn Holder and Michael Holding terrorists,
hooligans and animals when they decimated India,
half of India s team injured from debilitating body
blows, unable to bat. Yes, I am angry and have a right
This latest debacle was terrible representation, and
quite embarrassing too. Enjoy, or not!
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