Thursday, May 13, 2010

Don't Give Up, You Still Have Us. Don't Give Up, We Don't Need Much of Anything.

Undoubtedly the West Indies will be disappointed after their pummelling from Australia the other night. The team should take encouragement from this tournament though for in the match against India we witnessed what has become a rare sight- an aggressive, sharp, and focussed Caribbean side. Most importantly in that match was, in addition to a tremendous batting performance from Chris Gayle, an offensive bowling display led by Jerome Taylor. Rather than prattle on about this tournament and how beautiful the Carribean is and how nice it is to see fat black dancing women as oppossed to the skinny blonde whites in the IPL, let us review the West Indian XI and reflect on what fine potential they proffer.

I- Christopher Henry Gayle
There is little not to like about Gayle. An aggressive and demoralising batsman. Adventurous and unflinching captain. Charismatic, funny, irks Shane Watson. West Indies cricket has been floundering of late both administratively as well as on the field and amidst the turmoil Gayle has spoken his mind unflinchingly. Words are superfluous, read his excellent twitter which includes him describing his shoes to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as Bollyhood.

II- Adrian Barath
Barath shows nothing but promise. Unfortunately suffering a knee injury at present which has kept him from this twenty over international tournament, Barath would seem to be an excellent complement to Gayle. Still attacking but somewhat more circumpect.

III- Ramnaresh Sarwan
Sarwan is a class player. Though suffering a lapse of form lately he is one of the bedrocks of this West Indian team.

IV- Shivnarine Chanderpaul
The other bedrock and experienced, dependable batsman. Unfortunately Chanderpaul is reaching the latter stage of his career and will soon have to pass on.

V- Travis Dowlin/Narsingh Deonarine
These two would seem to be the pre-eminent contenders for the spot. Dowlin is a stolid batsman but not an unattractive player. Deonarine is quite the fighter and would seem to have the greater claim for the spot with his more than capable off-spin ability. Daren Ganga is another contender for the position though he doesn't seem high in the minds of the WICB lately. Another outsider is Marlon Samuels who is soon eligible to play international cricket again.

VI- Dwayne Bravo
An intelligent and courageous bowler. Bravo not only has the best name in international cricket but has the promise to be one of the greatest contemporary all-rounders. Bravo has the ability to knock down a side with his bowling. An inconsistent batsman who can be superb but just as easily be dismissed for very little. With focus and consistency could be the true beast of the Carribean. Still a young man despite his experience, Bravo would have to be one of the conerstones in a West Indies renaissance.


VII- Denesh Ramdin
Ramdin came to the West Indian team a very young fellow and a rather prodigious talent, so much so that he was supported for the captaincy. Unfortunately his batting form has slumped awfully for quite some time now and has not put in a good innings for a year. A problem for the West Indies though is have they any wicketkeeper batsman of greater quality?

VIII- Sulieman Benn
Benn is a very decent spinner. There is no contention for his position.

Now we get to the business end of things and the point to which I have been leading all along. Fast bowling, the skill which has always underpinned any successful West Indian side. This has been a quality lacking since Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose retired. If the West Indies is to be anything more than an object of sympathy in the arena of international cricket the most important step to take is the assembly of a class pace performance.

The two most promising bowlers for such are Jerome Taylor and Kemar Roach. Injured for several months Taylor must lead such an attack with authority, presence and accuracy. Even when bowling with such splendid rigour against India the other night Taylor gave away far too many no-balls and wides. Roach's greatest asset is raw pace. He has a lot of work to do in making consistent length though. While his short pitched deliveries are a handful he has yet to learn how to bowl full and york the batsman.

And who to fill the final spot in the XI. Ravi Rampaul has not been quite good enough. Lacking pace, Rampaul instead concentrates upon wile and though quite successful on occasion has not been consistent and has been easily targeted. Gavin Tonge has been another contender but as yet done little to commend himself. Darren Sammy is a decent player but has not proved himself a good enough bowler to fill such a position. Kieron Pollard may perhaps be another possibility. He certainly has talent to boot but we have yet to see whether he has the stamina or interest for test cricket.

The majority of the cricketing world bewails the demise of the West Indies. South Africa are next to tour the Carribean which certainly can't be an appetising prospect for a team still trying to establish itself. The West Indies certainly have the talent to be a competitor in test cricket, they lack only the consistency. Everything will be an uphill struggle.

Incidentally Curtly Ambrose now plays the bass guitar in a band called The Big Bad Dread and the Bald Head. Richie Richardson plays rhythm.



  1. Golby,
    The Big Bad Dread and the Baldhead is SO INCREDIBLE.

  2. also this blog is great. Hope you're well!