Plenty to wonder and ponder

After they were humiliated by England and suffered the indignity of a 3-0 whitewash at home, West Indies still have a lot to wonder and ponder.

In the One Day International Series, the inexperienced regional side was totally outplayed in all departments by the more experienced touring English team which resulted in humiliation for the boys in maroons by wide margins, an indication of the continued decline of West Indies’ cricket.

Even though Cricket West Indies and some of players are on different sides owing to personal reasons, several seasoned cricketers would have made an impression because of their resounding ability in the abbreviated version of the beautiful game.

One comes to mind is the pugnacious Jamaican left-hand batsman Chris Gayle. His presence in the team is profound and could have been a great asset for them on the big occasion against England.

Like the sensational Gayle, Trinidadian ebullient all-rounder Dwayne Bravo was badly missed too and he and the board are at odds owing to the similar indifference. These high-profile players prefer to be Freelance cricketers and ply their trade in the various domestic T20 leagues and opted not to sign contracts with the regional board.

An ardent cricket-lover for West Indies will still wonder if these issues cannot be resolved in order to see their favourites exhibiting their trade in the prestigious maroon colours.

Undoubtedly, this is an annoyance not seeing the much-vaunted players not in action especially when the side succumbing to an equally competing country like England.

There is an abundant of talented cricketers in the Caribbean but they haven’t found a winning team or a winning formula much to the dismay of the West Indian devotees.

Despite the unfamiliarity with the pitch at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua and Barbuda, England were able to pile on an adequate 296 runs and then their bowlers completed the job by dismissing the hosts for 256.

In the second and penultimate match at the same venue, again the West Indians disappointed their supporters falling to a modest 225 while the visitors surpassed the target with little fuss.

With England already taking an unassailable 2-0 lead, their skipper Eion Morgan spoke enthusiastically at the post-match presentation that they will continue to be ruthless and a whitewash was on the horizon for the final encounter at the Kensington Oval, Barbados.

West Indies, the former back to back World Champions in the 50-over format and current World T20 Champions were very mindful of the of the looming historic whitewash at home and were desperate to win the final match and save. However, what will be will be and more embarrassment and more humiliation awaited them as they squandered another advantage with familiar conditions in Barbados’ capital.

England racked up a formidable 328 from their allotment of 50-overs and the hosts replied meekly folding for a measly 142.

We have wondered what may have caused such inept batting performance from these professional cricketers more so in familiar conditions at home.

What had transpired in this short series was a manifestation of West Indies’ participation in ICC bi-later series and as they are preparing to confront a team that is similar in consistency or lack of and in position in the rankings one can only be optimistic for a much better performance against Pakistan from March 26.

The two countries will engage in four T20s, the format the Caribbean boys have been dominating and they are hot favourite to win against the much-touted Pakistan but the subsequent 50-overs and Test series should be pondering for fans if they can create an impact too.

With the return of Kieron Pollard, a dashing, exhilarating T20 player and few specialists, the combination gives these fans something to bash about.

When Pakistan and West Indies played each other in Dubai, Pakistan made a mess of them in the game’s shortest format, and no doubt they will want to jaunt high on that psychological advantage.

West Indies T20 lads have got to play their hearts out to stay high on the Rankings. They have plummeted to number 4 while the Pakistanis sitting at number 6. Plenty action beckons.