EDITORIAL: Windies ill-prepared for India
NOT MANY leaders usually accept public censure or any form of criticism for failure, whether it is constructive or baseless. Hence, it was with a sense of maturity and honesty that West Indies cricket captain Darren Sammy acknowledged the regional team deserved whatever condemnation they received in the aftermath of their ill-starred two-Test series in India.
“Myself as captain has not led from the front at all in this series. We deserve all the criticism and the comments that have been thrown at us,” Sammy was quoted as saying last Saturday after the West Indies crashed to a second successive innings defeat inside three days.
He also admitted there was a huge difference when playing against the higher ranked teams.
“Coming here really taught us a lesson, exposed us, taught us how far we are behind the top four teams in the world. We’ve just not turned up.”
But while Sammy must be admired for his straightforward sincerity, and his savoir-faire, by pleading guilty even before charges are brought for such a pathetic performance, neither he nor those responsible for this fiasco can expect to escape with just a reprimand.
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) must be held accountable for consenting, at short notice, to play a series that was not originally part of the International Cricket Council’s Future Tours Programme and was only staged to accommodate the retiring Sachin Tendulkar’s 200th farewell Test on home turf before his adoring fans.
The old adage of “If you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail” surely came back to haunt the West Indies, who hastily tried to ready themselves for such a challenging assignment with one-week camps in Barbados and Florida, the latter being a team-bonding exercise with a Jamaican sports psychologist.
Going forward, Sammy’s appointment as Test captain should be reviewed, considering his mediocre performances and at times uninspiring leadership, especially in pressure situations.
What is disheartening is that while the Indian batsmen showed steely resolve, even when their backs were against the wall, like in the first Test, the West Indies’ batsmen never displayed the same determination.
Could this laissez-faire approach be linked to the fast-paced Twenty20 cricket? Could it be that West Indian batsmen are no longer occupying the crease for long periods but seem content with cameo innings? To add insult to injury, the team’s most successful bowler, Shane Shillingford, along with part-time bowler Marlon Samuels have now been reported for suspected illegal bowling actions.
Whether the West Indies will be sufficiently motivated for the imminent series in New Zealand will be left to be seen.