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Blame WI management


Andi Thornhill

Blame WI management

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The West Indies can’t be as bad as they looked against India.
Or are they?
They seemed to be still in the nets or on a vacation trip.
Cheese on bread, they couldn’t even get past three days in either of the two tests.
Unless, you’re just wetting your feet at that level, those performances weren’t normal.
Even in our darkest days, it certainly wasn’t West Indian.
Questions will be asked of management and players why we appeared to be so gutless in conditions that didn’t appear to be adverse even by Indian standards.
I mean that in respect of their renowned slow pitches which have proved to test the skills and more so the patience of the world’s best batsmen for generations.
The pitches we played on in the series didn’t divert from that tradition, yet we failed the test big time.
Only once did our batsmen look capable of building a major innings. That was in the first innings of the first test when we were 130 odd for two at one stage.
After that rare moment, the batsmen became allergic to digging in and building strong partnerships.
The Indian bowling, I suggest, wasn’t poor rakey but our refusal or inability to show character in the heat of the battle contributed immensely to their dominance.
Ojha and Ashwin seemed to be bowlers from out of space, such was the mesmeric spin they put on our players. 
What if batting great Shivnarine Chanderpaul wasn’t around to show customary resoluteness in the middle order?
Our fragile defence may have collapsed inside two days instead of three.
Should we have expected a similar response from talisman Chris Gayle at the top of the order notwithstanding that he is yet to score a century against the Indians?
I think so because apart from Chanderpaul he is the most experienced and accomplished batsman and should appreciate that he’s expected to give guidance and direction to the shape of the innings.
Truth is that the Kraigg Brathwaite-Kieron Powell partnership was more prosperous on the last tour when Gayle was out in the cold following his fallout with the establishment.
Oh how we wished for some of those explosive innings Gayle essays in the Indian Premier League.
Different format, but he has the skills to adjust to suit. Don’t forget, he’s among an elite group to have two triple hundreds to his name. He has the mentality to bat long.
I think it is crucial for people to understand their role in the workplace for productivity to be at the projected level.
Gayle fell short in this respect and he should be reminded what is expected of him on the next tour which I think Brathwaite should be on. He is part of the future and ought to be rubbing shoulders with the seniors again.
The only bowler that emerged with his reputation in tact or enhanced by any degree is off-spinner Shane Shillingford who persevered despite the odds of having no sustained help at the other end.
Why was there no Sunil Narine, touted as a mystery spinner going into conditions where bowlers of his ilk revel?
Didn’t the medical team know beforehand that leading fast bowler Kemar Roach was carrying a serious injury before the tour?
Denesh Ramdin batting at number six? Seriously?
There are several exclamation marks and red flags to be raised about what can only be considered as an ill-fated test series.
This part could be a reflection of the management because they are responsible for selecting and motivating the human resources their disposal.
Based on what transpired in the tests they fell woefully short. As the old saying goes, once the head bad the whole body is bad.
Ah, but with our adeptness in the shorter versions of the game, we might do well and the lack of performance in the tests will be a nine-day wonder and the substantive issues glossed over.
• Andi Thornhill is an experienced award-winning sports journalist.

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