Same old results for wounded West Indies Test outfit
By Brandon Corlette
In India’s tour to the West Indies, they defeated their hosts in every game they played. The West Indies lost the T-20 International series 3-0, the One Day International series 2-0, and the Test series 2-0.
In reviewing the Test series, West Indies had dull moments with the bat, while Kemar Roach and Jason Holder had good outings with the ball.
A disappointed Captain Jason Holder, at the post-match press conference, called for West Indies cricket to change at the grassroots level.
“I think special emphasis must be put on franchise (First Class) cricket, and that’s where we are going to build players”, Holder declared.
Given that the West Indies have had a long break from Test cricket, Holder said, now is the opportunity to make amends. The captain called for more camps, especially for the batsmen.
In the Test series under review, West Indies batsmen had little to boast about. In the two Test matches, with four innings on offer for the Caribbean batsmen, only one half-century was recorded by an individual in the West Indies team.
New boy Shamarh Brooks was the lone West Indies player to record a 50-plus score, whereas India’s Hanuma Vihari and Ajinkya Rahane each scored one century and two half-centuries. It was not the case where the pitches in Antigua and Jamaica were extremely difficult for batting. Poor application and deficiency in mental approach occasioned the demise of the West Indian batsmen.
In those two Test matches, Holder scored the most runs for the West Indies – 104 at an average of 26. That being the best performance by a Windies batsman in the series declares plaintively that quality Test batsmen are lacking in the Caribbean.
An examination of the performances of openers Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell would reveal that
Brathwaite has been beyond defensive in his approach. His mindset saw him score only 28 runs in four innings, averaging a mere seven in the series. His opening partner Campbell was dashing in his approach, but scored only 48 runs in four innings. He played five Test matches, 10 innings, and is yet to score a maiden half-century.
The ‘prodigal son’ Darren Bravo may have lost his way at this point in his career. Comparing him with the legendary Brian Lara has suddenly stopped. In the four innings in the Tests, he literally ‘suffered to score’, and he also suffered a concussion. He scored 47 runs in three innings, with his high score being a promising 23 in the final innings.
As for the “highly talented” Shimron Hetmyer, he scored 71 runs in four innings, with two 30-plus scores under his belt. Roston Chase managed 72 runs in his four innings, while Shai Hope had a poor first Test, scoring 26 runs.
Shamarh Brooks may have kept his place in the Test squad with that fighting 50 he scored. In the previous matches, he tallied 13 runs in three innings.
In the bowling department, Roach was the standout with nine wickets, while Holder had eight wickets. The inconsistent Shannon Gabriel grabbed four wickets, while Chase and Rahkeem Cornwall showed good signs in the spin department with nine wickets between them.
West Indies will resume their Test campaign on November 27 in a one-off Test match against Afghanistan in Dehradun, India.