Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 23rd 2014 Contents Last week, I was at the Queen s
Park Oval in Port-of-Spain, to see
the end of T&T s Four-day match
against Leeward Islands, and to have
a short meeting with Dr Nigel
Camacho, one of the head honchos
of the new West Indies Retired Play-
ers Foundation (WIRPF), another
man I had never met before said
something especially profound.
All would probably remember that
it was also Dr Camacho, a tremen-
dously talented individual who some-
times runs marathons, and is also
my family s dentist, who was one of
the original guys who put together
the first fully feasible travelling sup-
porters club of West Indies cricket
---"The Trini Posse!"
Our meeting went very well indeed
and more would be available about
this new venture for all past West
Indies cricketers in the near future.
I sincerely hope to be fully involved
But what also focused me after-
wards was what the stranger, neck
tie loose, just having a relaxing late
afternoon aperitif, shouted to us:
"Hey guys, I am sure that you know
that if all West Indies players now
at ICC World T20 in Bangladesh play
to their full potential, West Indies
cannot lose at all in this tournament!"
Paraphrasing that would mean that
West Indies would successfully
defend its World T20 title.
Truthfully, pound for pound, that
stranger was absolutely correct. If
WI team really plays as it can, players
having matured in the last two years
since winning in 2012, then they really
should not lose.
Today, West Indies starts that
defense against a team, India, which
has already shown that they too,
mean real serious business.
India s utter strangulation of Pak-
istan in their Group one encounter,
the same group that also contains
Australia and Bangladesh, was like
the Web of spiders, or spinners, weav-
ing traps that entangle batsmen.
"India s spinners set up facile vic-
tory", screamed the headline on ESP-
Ncricinfo. Pakistan never emerged
from the silky entrapments spun by
India s spinners, the 2009 World T20
champions only managing 130 in
their 20 overs, a run-per-over average
of only 6.5, always way below par
for India s batting might.
How WI cope with "Man of
Match" Amit Misra, bowling right
arm leg-breaks, googlies, sliders and
top-spinners, and whose 4-0-22-2
versus Pakistan included one very
expensive over that cost 13 runs, will
be seen today, also exposing how
adept present WI players really are
to good spin bowling.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, captaining
the winners of ICC s inaugural T20
world competition 2007, has several
weavers in his armory. Very much
concentration would be necessary
for WI to overcome them.
Left arm orthodox spinner Ravin-
dra Jadeja was even more frugal
against Pakistan, 4-0-18-1, showing
that as expected spin will definitely
play its main part for whichever team
hopes to win this year s competition.
Compounding that smothering
Web for India, tall off-spinner
Ravichandran Ashwin, opening the
bowling versus Pakistan, also deliv-
ered snarling strings with his impres-
sive adhesives, 4-0-23-0, really tight,
Incredibly, India s main spinners
delivered 12-0-63-3, effectively
snuffing out Pakistan s batting life.
West Indies are extremely similar
to Pakistan. Both teams play such
mercurial cricket, majestically mag-
nificent now, depressingly deficient
then. Which West Indies team turns
up is the big question.
No Pakistani played to his full
potential. Only Umar Akmal, 33 from
30 deliveries, looked close enough.
Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi and cap-
tain Mohammad Hafeez all looked
woefully ensnarled into India s Web.
WI batting line up today, down to
wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin and
captain Darren Sammy, should read
Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Marlon
Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne
Bravo, all interchangeable, perhaps
Andre Russell, Ravi Rampaul, Sunil
Narine and Samuel Badree as bowlers.
To date, WI main batsmen returns
are as follows: Gayle 37 T20I s; 1096
runs; avg. 33.21; strike rate 140. Smith
22 T20I s; 398 runs; avg. 18.09; s/r
133.55. Samuels 30 T20I s; 748 runs;
avg. 31.16; s/r 129.18. Simmons 25
T20I s 587 runs; avg. 26.68; s/r 113.53.
Bravo 44 T20I s; 803 runs; avg.26.76;
s/r 115.37. Ramdin 41 T20I; 334 runs;
avg. 17.57; s/r 125.09. Sammy 47
T20I; 362 runs; avg. 13.92; s/r 136.09.
Russell 22 T20I s; 140 runs; avg. 12.72;
Are those numbers good enough
to beat India and its superlative spin-
ners? Today we will know that!
Reading those numbers, one has
to hope that today, as a West Indies
supporter, that Gayle strikes the ball
robustly, Smith muscles sixes regu-
larly, Samuels caresses deliveries
smoothly, and Ramdin, Sammy, Sim-
mons, Bravo and Russell slog the way
only they can, to get West Indies in
the vicinity of 190-200.
Also, WI has spinners of its own,
spinners who are truly world class
T&T s spin twins Badree and Nar-
ine are considered worldwide as high-
ly, if indeed not more so, as Pakistan s
Mohammad Hafeez or India s Ash-
win, Misra and Jadeja.
So, this first encounter for West
Indies against India, can be described,
like that old cartoon, as "spin vs
If India win today against West
Indies, they are almost through to
the semifinals. West Indies must
therefore play to their full potential
to pick up where they left off in 2012,
on that winning streak.
March 23, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
COLIN EH CROFT
Windies must play to full potential
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