It pains me to see the West Indies team’s performance in the recent series in New Zealand and the present One-Day series in Bangladesh. It is so poor that we have become the laughing stock among pundits in the cricketing world, and until something drastic is done to improve our cricket, I would like to recommend that we stop playing One-Day and Test cricket and play only T20 cricket.
And make no bones about it, Bangladesh will crush us in the two Test matches that are coming up. There are so many areas in which we are deficient, but I will focus only on the catching and batting. When you can’t bat and put big scores on the board, you should at least hold your catches. In New Zealand, we dropped about 20 catches. We gave one batsman alone five chances, and this has been the trend for the longest while now.
For heaven’s sake, hold your catches! And this is an indictment on the coaching staff. As the saying goes, catches win matches, and this is one area where there is no excuse. As for the batting, there are so many technical flaws in our batsmen that they should not be playing international cricket, and the fault lies in the standard of our domestic cricket.
Players are averaging between 15 and 25 in regional cricket and are playing for the West Indies in international cricket. Give me a break!!! In all other countries, a batsman has to average over 40 or 50 before he makes the national side. When you look at our batsmen, many of them do not know where their off stump is, and would play at balls that they should have left alone. The result most times is that they are caught in the slips or by the keeper when they are facing high-quality fast bowling.
Also, many of them cannot handle short-pitched bowling. When it comes to spin bowling, many of them are hopeless. They are caught in the crease pushing their bat hoping to make contact, not knowing which way the ball is turning; and most times they are either LBW, bowled, or caught bat-pad. They hardly use their feet to the spinners and get to the pitch of the ball and drive down the ground.
And, as I said, batting and catching are our biggest problems, and until we can find another Lara or Chanderpaul, we should not be playing One-Day and Test cricket, and embark on more A team tours to bring our batsmen up to international standard. I hope Rickey Skerritt and his band of merry men will heed my plea.