Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 15th 2014 Contents A55
June 15, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
"Reality bites," but as New
Zealand's captain Brendon Mc
Callum confirmed, New Zealand
played almost perfectly in Test
No 1 against West Indies, out-
playing the regional side in
every department at Sabina
Park in Jamaica.
Whatever happens in the Sec-
ond and Third Tests, WI cannot
do much worse. Much improve-
ment is necessary to be even near
par with NZ.
To win any Test, 20 wickets
must be taken by a team, regard-
less of how many runs that team
That win could only come
from bowlers being purposeful
and focused while also having
batsmen laying foundations with
good scores, so that bowlers can
have room to maneuver.
Bowling below par
WI s much-hyped bowlers
took only 15 wickets while NZ s
concentrated attack showed
exactly how bowlers should oper-
ate on such an adverse bowling
pitch, to win by an overwhelming
In the opening Test, WI s first
innings bowling effort was way
below average, baffling really,
when they should have been
straining at the leash, fired-up,
waiting to pounce on the
rumoured under-prepared Kiwis.
Now that Sunil Narine has
apparently been included only
for the final Test---why not Test
No 2---the bowling attack should
improve. By then, though, it may
be too late; the series already lost.
Whatever WI does for the rest
of this important, pivotal Test
series, its bowlers, especially
quickies, must be much better
even if they redeemed themselves
slightly in NZ s second innings.
They must think more on their
bowling feet and not just depend
on what they had been coached
into being. Especially fast bowling
is all about being able to quickly
adjust to conditions under-foot.
That pitch at Sabina Park was
quite poor for Test cricket, espe-
cially considering the make-up
of WI bowling attack as there
was no early pace, only tennis-
ball bounce and not much for
Orthodox left-arm spinner
Sulieman Benn s intelligent,
timely, honest overview was
spot on. Sabina s pitches used
to be magnificent---glass-like,
ultra-hard, consistent in
bounce, extra-fast, slick.
Since my very first visit to
that historic Test venue in 1971,
representing Guyana in Under-
19 s, this was one of the worst
pitches ever seen at Sabina to
start a Test.
Queen s Park Oval must offer
much more to everyone---
bowlers and batsmen---hope-
fully at least like those pitches
used last January for Caribbean
pacy and turning too---as Test
pitches should behave.
But WI s quickies were also
very culpable for NZ s highly
professional first innings batting
effort in Jamaica.
Recent WI fast bowlers have
been so over-coached these last
several years at not pitching the
ball up to proper, much fuller
length, that they could not re-
adjust themselves to "driving"
length, as was required.
WI s faster bowlers think that
they are quicker than they really
are, so too many deliveries were
way too short and of no con-
sequence in NZ s first innings.
NZ s bowling was exactly the
opposite. What was called for
on that same benign pitch,
bowling at fuller lengths with
resounding results, even getting
lbw s (leg before wicket).
In the first innings, WI s
quickies were operating at
bowling length of their bowling
consultant, Sir Curtly Ambrose,
while none of them had any of
his unusual lift, wrist-zip or
even pace, overall.
Roach looked badly out of
kilter and needs much work to
return to what we still hope
that he could become.
WI head coach Ottis Gibson,
a former WI opening bowler
and England bowling coach,
must also agree that the overall
WI first innings bowling per-
formance was fully mediocre.
NZ should never have made
WI were in a camp for two
weeks so if the quickies were
not heavily pressed there as
they should have been, then
how could anyone know if they
could cope under real heavy
Coach Gibson concerned
about batting talent
Camps are not for pampering,
but for significantly hard phys-
ical work to bring players to a
steamy boil, ready for immediate
all-out action. Players should
be pressed to almost breaking
point in camps.
Gibson also lamented his
team s batting failure. That
should not have been a surprise.
The score of 508-7 was
already run-heavy so if 100-
Tests Chris Gayle or 154-Tests
Shiv Chanderpaul, under pres-
sure from the get-go, did not
score heavily, then the rest of
WI s batsmen, based on recent
form, were due to crumble.
Except for Gayle and
indomitable "Chanders", WI s
batting in Test No 1 was dia-
In the second innings, WI did
not even muster enough time
for an ODI-type existence, falling
in just 47.4 overs.
If anyone was paying atten-
tion to Kirk Edwards, Darren
Bravo and Marlon Samuels ear-
lier this year in WI regional First
Class matches, they would have
known that neither of these had
had any scores to talk about.
They were all playing the First
Test more on reputations, from
memory even, than from recent
scores and form.
Why do WI s selectors sac-
rifice our players this way on so
NZ s Test debutant, off-spin-
ner Mark Craig, bowled bril-
liantly, varying pace and flight
well for 8-188, easily "Man-of-
One down, two Tests to go,
so mammoth and immediate
changes are necessary for West
Indies. If they would be made
is another story! Enjoy!
T&T's Keston Bledman claimed bronze yes-
terday in a Caribbean-dominated 100m final at
the IAAF Diamond League, in New York, USA,
finishing in 10.23 seconds.
Jamaican pair Nesta Carter and Yohan Blake
took gold and silver, respectively, but were both
unable to duck under the ten-second mark.
Carter won in 10.09, while Blake, the Diamond
League 100m record holder (9.69) finished in
Another Jamaican, Kemar Bailey-Cole placed
eighth in 10.33. Also claiming bronze for T&T
yesterday was multiple CAC gold medalist and
Olympic shot put thrower Cleopatra Borel, who
threw an impressive 19.04m.
The Mayaro-born athlete made her best effort
on the third attempt after throwing 18.08m on
the first and faulting on the second. She then
threw 18.21m on her fourth attempt. Valerie Adams
of New Zealand won the event in 19.52m, while
Michelle Carter of the USA was edged out in sec-
ond with her 19.51m attempt.
Also in action for T&T were World Champion
Jehue Gordon and Olympic bronze medalist
Lalonde Gordon, both of whom were far from
Gordon (Jehue) placed seventh in the 400m
hurdles clocking 49.81, only ahead of Jamaica s
Leford Green, who placed eighth in 50.87. The
race was won by Javier Culson of Puerto Rico,
who ran a world-leading 48.03. USA s Michael
Tinsley finished second in a season-best 48.56,
while Cornel Fredericks of South Africa took third
in 48.58- also a season best.
Meanwhile, Gordon (Lalonde) placed eighth
and last in his event, the men s 400m sprint
clocking 45.68 seconds.
USA s Lashawn Merritt took his Diamond League
400m tally to 12 points after winning the race in
a blistering 44.19 seconds for a meet record. South
Africa s Wayde Van Niekerk (44.38) placed second
for a national record, while Bahamian Chris Brown
ran a season-best 44.61 seconds for third place.
COLIN EH CROFT
Hype does not
win Test matches
...Taking 20 wickets does
West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin heads back to the dressing
room after scoring 34 runs on Day 4 of the 1st Test match between
West Indies and New Zealand at Sabina Park, on Wednesday.
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