OUTSIDE THE PULPIT: Still bright spots in WI cricket
Hold Thou thy cross before my closing eyes, Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies; Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadow flee; In life, in death, O Lord abide with me. (Hymn 27, verse 5 – A&M)
NOW THAT THE Olympics and the Budget are out of the way, I will focus on the West Indies versus India Test cricket series.
To me it was a very disappointing series. The West Indies were able to play for a draw in the second Test at Sabina Park in Jamaica, leading me to think that there was a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel, but that was put out during the third Test at the Daren Sammy National Stadium, when the team lost after being dismissed in the last two sessions.
The senior members of the team – Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels – did not pull their weight and did not stay at the wicket long enough so that they could have guided the younger players, especially the batsmen.
For the tour to Pakistan I would leave out Samuels and play Shai Hope instead and allow him to bat at number three. This would be the chance for Bravo to move to number four.
Despite losing the series to India 2-0, I think that there were some bright spots that can be taken into the future. Speedster Shannon Gabriel was quick and looked good especially in the second Test.
Nineteen-year-old fast bowler Alzarri Joseph was fast and looks good for the future. I also think that Roston Chase was in fine form for the series. On the Barbados team, he was used as a part-time off-spinner but against India he has proven that he is more than a part-time bowler.
In the third Test, Miguel Cummins looked a test bowler of some standard when he collected nine wickets in the match. The bowlers have proven that they can take wickets.
The problem is the batting. Is it because of T20? I think so. What about Shane Dowrich? He was not too bad and will develop into a good wicketkeeper-batsman.
Let us work with these players so that they can develop into a good team, but this will take time.