SPORTS

Take-Aways From West Indies vs Sri Lanka Home Series

Rally round the West Indies is the anthem in support of the West Indies Cricket team for nearly thirty years. It was a fitting song that became the team’s anthem when it was released in 1993.

In the past twenty years, it has been tough to rally around the West Indies. However, the recent series against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka has brought back optimism for cricket lovers in the region to support a relatively young and vibrant Windies team.

Some of the positives and negatives from the recent Sri Lanka series include the following:

  1. Bright Hope for the Future

Shai Hope had a tremendous ODI series. He was selected as the man of the series because in the series he scored a century and two 50s. It took him past 3,500 ODI runs in 81 matches at an astonishing 53.74 average. He demonstrated in the series that he could play spin and change his batting tempo to fit the situation. Yes, the West Indies’ can rest in Hope for future success.

2. Welcome back Darren

Daren Bravo has been touted as the next Brian Lara. He bats left-handed, executes his shots in a stylish manner and from Trinidad and Tobago. However, Bravo has never quite lived up to the hype of the West Indian great. After a two-year exile, in three ODI matches, he finished with scores of 37 not out, 10 and 102. Bravo ended as the fourth-highest run-scorer (149) with the second-highest average (74.50). Not bad for a batsman coming in from the cold.

3. Veterans back in the fold

It was good to see the likes of Chris Gayle, Lendl Simmons, and Dwayne Bravo making themselves available for the T-20 series. Simmons scored in the 20s in each game; Bravo bowled his 12 overs in the three games at an economical rate with 3 wickets. While Gayle did not play well, his presence along with Simmons and Bravo should allow for better output in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

4. Pollard is a real leader

Pollard’s record speaks for itself ten ODI victories in 15 matches since becoming captain is a fantastic statistic. He is an excellent all-rounder, leads by example, and imaginative with his tactics on the field. Although this Sri Lankan team is at the bottom of the ODI standings, the exquisite manner in which the team won the ODI and T-20s series shows that this team is heading in the right direction.

5. The Test team bend but did not break

In the Test series, the batsmen put their heads down to score, and the bowlers did what they could on challenging pitches. There were centuries from Kraigg Brathwaite and Nkruma Bonner. Additionally, there were solid knocks from Kyle Mayers, Joshua De Silva, and the big man Rahkeem Cornwall. Kemar Roache took 12 wickets in the series and was the pick of the bowlers.

6. Failure to bat spin in T-20 series

The West Indies batsmen struggled a bit in the T-20 series when they faced Sri Lankan spin bowling. Wanindu Hasaranga took 8 wickets in the series at an economical rate and was the reason why Sri Lankans were able to push the series to the win or take all game 3. It is a cause for concern knowing the spinner-friendly Indian pitches the West Indies will play on during the T-20 World Cup in India later this year.

7. Result-oriented pitches needed

After the Test series, Phil Simmons, the West Indies coach, expressed to the media concerns about pitches in the Caribbean.

He stated, “we need to get ­better wickets where we can have Test matches that will create a result.”

I agree with him. If the West Indies team is to continue their rise from the ashes, we need to create pitches that will allow for a result and not a two-match series to end 0-0.

Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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