West Indies selectors on wrong track

Barbados and Leewards share regional title
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

The unfortunate situation surrounding former West Indies Captain Chris Gayle and the West Indies selectors along with the WICB may be understandable but the axing of Guyana’s captain Ramneresh Sarwan and Ravi Rampaul not playing in the first and second ODI against Pakistan in St. Lucia was most regrettable.

Sarwan is not injured and he is an experienced player with a reasonable average in both test matches and One-Day Internationals. The valuable medium pacer Rampaul performed very well in the World Cup in spite of not being chosen for key games that the West Indies have played. Certainly, it would make some cricket sense to play him against Pakistan in a fresh series.

Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy and Andre Russell are not as accurate as Rampaul. Rampaul has proven his qualities as a one-day bowler. He is not that quick but he picks up wickets at a low cost. Kemar Roach needs a back up partner at the other end to give the West Indies a flying start and put some pressure on the opposition from picking up early wickets.

There is no Jerome Taylor around. He is participating in the Indian Premier League so it is of vital to ensure that Roach gets the back up.

The selectors have ignored left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn. He did not enjoy the World Cup but prior to that, he did very well for the West Indies especially in Sri Lanka. At least he should have been named in the 14-man squad. Cricketers are not always in their best form and selectors should not just eliminate a player because of a bad series or a few failures with bat or ball. Star batsman Sachin Tendulkar is not always in his best form in spite of his extraordinary abilities as a batsman. Tendulkar goes through his tough stages too.

Andre Russell Must Be In West Indies Team

Head Coach Ottis Gibson and Captain Darren Sammy ought to identify that the Pakistani strategy is to control the West Indies top order scoring and gain the momentum. The West Indies unfortunately has no system in place to combat the Pakistani tactic. Jamaica’s allrounder Andre Russell who has the explosive ability to hit the ball was not selected for the first two One-Day Internationals. Russell deserves to be in the team and bat at number four in order to attack and destroy the tactic of the Pakistan.

Some aggressive and intelligent batting is needed at the top order. Darren Bravo at three, Russell at four and the experienced Ramneresh Sarwan at five. The hard-hitting Kieron Pollard is away playing in the IPL, Gayle is on duty in the said arena, therefore, the expert selectors must use their expertise and put the best team on the field, even if the captain has to be sacked and replaced. Any cricket captain must first gain credibility with the team in spite of his passion for the game.

Failed Strategy

Gibson and Sammy who are at the helm of decision-making must see the importance of making changes to cast out the shame and disgrace that plague West Indies cricket. Both coach and captain carry a certain amount of authority and certainly can do the correct thing. Sarwan must return to the team.

Pakistan Wins Digicel One-Day Series

The touring Pakistani Team has won the Digicel One-Day Series by winning the first three completed games. Pakistan won the first game by eight wickets, the second by seven wickets and the third by three wickets, they lead the series 3-0 out of the five match series. West Indies cricket seems to be out of control and apparently badly managed.