The West Indies has over the years produced some of the greatest cricketers in the history of the game and have dominated the game especially in the 1970s to the early 1990s. There have however been some West Indian cricketers that promised so much, but for some reason or another, did not live up to the lofty expectations. We will look at five of these cricketers, that in our estimation did not live up to their natural talent or the expectations of West Indian and world cricketing fans.
Carl Hooper was one of the most naturally talented West Indian batsmen of his time, his effortless technique, graceful timing of the cricket ball, and tremendous coordination of eye, hand, and foot movements at the wicket made him a joy to watch when he is on song.
He was one of the best batsmen against spin bowling in the world, his great nemesis Shane Warne once remarked that Hooper was one of the most challenging batmen that he had bowled at during his career.
He was also imperious against pace bowling and could destroy the best bowling attacks in the world on his day. But with a test average of 36.46 over 102 test matches and a one-day average of 35.34 over 227 one-day matches, Carl Hooper was an underachiever.
The main weakness in Carl Hooper’s batting was his inability to concentrate for long periods consistently; this resulted in him getting many starts and then throwing his wicket away, making him one of the biggest underachievers in the history of west indies cricket.
Lawrence Rowe was one of the most elegant batsmen that played cricket for the West Indies. He is the only batsman in the history of test cricket to make a double century and a single century on test debut.
He was however highly inconsistent and ended with a test average of 43.55 in 30 test matches including a majestic triple century. This average was not a testament to Lawrence Rowe’s talent, and he is regarded as a major disappointment by several West Indian fans.
Franklyn Rose was an enigmatic and exciting fast bowler with an excellent outswinger. He however only played 19 test matches, taking 53 wickets at an average of 30.88. Rose played sparingly due to inconsistency and sometimes a poor attitude towards the game.
He could have blossomed into a decent fast bowler if he was disciplined enough to work hard and harness his talent. The fact that this did not happen, especially in the context of the West Indian team at the time, makes Franklyn Rose a bowler that did not live up to the expectations of West Indian fans.
Marlon Samuels is probably the most naturally talented West Indian cricketer to have debuted since the year 2000. He has been compared to the great Viv Richards and made his debut for the team as a 19-year-old and was expected to become an exceptional player. He has however been mostly inconsistent and currently has a test batting average of 32, which is way below what everyone expected from Marlon Samuels when he started playing test cricket.
Darren Ganga was a technically sound batsman that gave the impression that everything was under control when he was batting. He was one of those batsmen that frustrated fans – he would make 25 or 30 looking at complete ease and then suddenly get out.
This feature of his batting resulted in him averaging just 25 in 48 test matches which is way below expectations at the international level.
He was an outstanding leader and was expected to offer leadership to a West Indian team that badly needed it in the early 2000s, however, is inconsistent batting and inability to cement a place in the team resulted in insufficient leadership opportunity.
His career can be summed up as a batsman that promised much but consistently failed to deliver.
These are five West Indian cricketers that the fans expected a whole lot from; they, however, did not live up to the expectations or deliver on promise during their careers, often frustrating fans and West Indian selectors alike.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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