The West Indies Cricket Team has not been competitive for a long time both at home and away. The recent drubbing by New Zealand is just a continuation of the misery that has been afflicting the team over the past 20 years or so.
The Team currently does not have a star player that can bring out the crowd to matches and win games for the team. To halt the slide, the West Indies need to fill some key positions on the side with capable and consistent performers – they need an opening batsman, a quality number 3 batsman, a wicketkeeper that can contribute with the bat consistently and a world-class strike bowler.
One of the most glaring holes in the team is the lack of a proper and consistent opening batsman to partner Craig Braithwaite.
This lack of quality at the top of the innings has resulted in the West Indies team been a shoe-in for losing early wickets, which has affected the ability of the team to set up test matches from the onset and always have to be coming from behind.
The current opener Kieran Powell is frankly not doing the job required consistently enough, and his position must be under threat.
Another critical position in the team that needs to be filled by a high-quality batsman is the number 3 or one down position.
The team has not had a good number 3 batsman since the fortuitous exit of Darren Bravo over a year ago. They have tried quite a few options, the latest been the young Shimron Hetmyer but none has owned the position with their performances.
This further exacerbates the deficiencies in the team caused by the lack of a proper opening batsman and helps to explain why the team always seem to consistently lose at two wickets in the first hour of a test match.
The Windies team needs a number 3 batter who can consistently score heavily and control and dictate the pace of the game. If they find such a batsman, the team will perform better as a batting unit.
The wicketkeeper batsmen that have played for the West Indian team recently have been way too inconsistent with the bat. Dinesh Ramdin was a huge disappointment averaging just 25 in 74 matches and the current wicket-keeper batsman Shane Dowrich has a similar average of 24 from 18 test matches. The wicketkeeper-batsman needs to be a consistent batter that can shepherd the lower order and score vital runs for the team; this is not being achieved by the current wicketkeeper-batsmen in the West Indian team. For the team to improve and become a quality team, the wicket-keeper batsman has to be more consistent in run scoring and not only be good behind the stumps.
Also, probably the most significant position that needs to be filled in the current team is that of a strike bowler.
To win a test match, a team needs to be able to take 20 wickets. To do this, the team needs a strike bowler who can lead the attack and find a way to get wickets on all type of surfaces consistently.
The West Indies team has lacked this penetration since the exit of Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose over sixteen years ago! They have had some good prospects such as Franklyn Rose, Jerome Taylor, Mervyn Dillion and Reon King but none of these bowlers have been able to take wickets in all conditions.
These are four key positions in the West Indian team that if filled with the right personnel will result in more consistent West Indian performances and surely more victories.
The question is who will fill these positions?
Moreover, which of the current players will stand up and be counted?
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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