The West Indies fan base has been treated to a rollercoaster summer of cricket from the Men in Maroon. It started with a demoralizing test series loss to the Proteas and then there was a deflating narrow loss to the same opposition in the T-20 series.
The team rebounded in the T-20 series against the Aussies with a dominant series win. The prideful Australians no doubt had revenge in mind to bounce back in the ODI series and disappointingly the Windies buckled when it mattered most. In this article, we will discuss some positives and negatives from this series.
- Akeal Hosein– the Trinidad & Tobago spinner was one of the few bright spots from the disappointing series. According to espncricinfo.com, Hosein bowled all his allotted 30 overs from the 3 match series which showed the captain trusted him and he executed brilliantly. He also took 6 wickets and conceded only 109 runs at an economical rate of 3.63. He finished with an average of 18.16 and a strike rate of 30.00. Hosein showed he had great control and wicket to wicket bowling ability because 4 of his 6 dismissals were either bowling the batsman or trapping him lbw. Hosein showed that he is certainly a player that the selectors need to keep in the mix in the white-ball cricket setup.
- Hayden Walsh Jr. — after claiming 12 wickets in the 5 match T-20 series against the Aussies, Walsh Jr was a late replacement for the injured Roston Chase in the ODI series. In the three-match series, he bowled 27 overs, took 7 wickets, and only conceded 112 runs in the process. He averaged only 16.00 balls per wicket, an economical rate of 4.14, and a strike rate of 23.10. He had a best of 5 for 39 in the first game of the series. Walsh Jr certainly built on the success from the previous series and rewarded the selectors with a good performance as he heads towards a place in the World Cup squad.
- One good partnership-if only the West Indies could have shown the grit and determination that Nicholas Pooran and Jason Holder displayed in the second match of the series. The team was in trouble at 72 for 5 chasing 188 runs for victory. They batted sensibly, built a partnership, rotated the strike, and hit the bad balls when necessary. Holder eventually fell for 52 but it was the 93 run partnership that was the backbone for the 4 wicket win.
- Pitch Condition-after the series, Chief Selector, Roger Harper was critical of the pitches used during the ODI series at the Kensington Oval. He stated on Starcom Radio’s Mason and Guest via the jamaicaobserver.com, “One of the things you expect when you play the shorter version of the game, whether it is ODI or T20, you expect a pitch that’s consistent in bounce and pace, and I think there was a lot of variation in both bounce and pace. I don’t think it’s the sort of pitch that you would expect for limited-overs cricket.” I agree with Harper on this one, the grounds staff should have produced a wicket that was more consistent in bounce and pace. Limited overs cricket should provide a measure of entertainment from the batsmen who can play their strokes after settling at the crease. It felt as if the batsmen from both teams who spent time at the crease were never really comfortable on this pitch. The pitch appeared to be designed for a test wicket that would guarantee a result rather than ODI wicket.
Disastrous batting-in the same interview, Harper admitted that the Windies batsmen were to be blamed for the result. He stated, “I think the team generally found the pitches a little challenging and didn’t adapt as well as they should’ve from a batting perspective. They never really came to terms with the pitch and were not able to produce the sort of collective batting performance that was required.” He continued, “we had the odd score here and there but generally from a batting perspective, we were not able to produce the sort of totals that we were looking for, and that’s what let us down in the very end.”
Again, Harper’s assessment is fair, but his comments were not strong enough in describing how disastrous the batting was. The conditions were tough but far too often the batters tried to hit a big shot to get out of trouble rather than trying to consolidate and fight to stay at the crease.
In the decisive third game, we could only muster a measly 152 when another 80 runs at the crease could have propelled the team to victory.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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