Windies Stars Fail To Shine — Disappointing T-20 Series Loss To The Proteas

After a disappointing 2 nil loss in the Test series to the South Africans, Caribbean Cricket lovers were eager to see the Men in Maroon stamp their authority in the T-20 format. 

Their confidence stemmed from the Windies being the reigning World champion in this format and boasting several stars who are renowned and revered for their brilliance in 20 over cricket. 

The team ultimately failed to realize their potential by slumping to a 3-2 series defeat. 

Here is my take from the disappointing series loss:

The Positives

  1. The “Real Mckoy” — Obed Mckoy was a definite bright spot in a disappointing series loss. The young St. Lucian played all 5 games and captain Pollard had him bowl his maximum of 20 overs. According to espncricinfo, Mckoy took 9 wickets, gave up 141 runs at a good economy rate of 7.05 and an excellent average of 15.67. 

The left-handed paceman showed good variations in disguising a good slower ball and bounce. He also maintained a fairly consistent length and line. In the third ODI, he achieved a career-best of 4 for 22 runs. 

  • Allen the Finisher — Fabian Allen batted in three innings in the series, and at the number 8 or 9 spot, he proved that he could potentially be the low order finisher that the Windies may need in the upcoming World Cup. In the second T-20, he brought the West Indies back in the game by scoring a blistering 34 runs off 12 balls, including 5 sixes.

In the third match, he scored 14, not out, from 9 deliveries as the Windies lost by a single run. In the 4th game, he scored 19, not out off 13 balls, as the Windies evened the series at 2-2. Allen’s bowling is still a work in progress, with his 10 overs in the series going for 76 runs and 2 wickets. However, his batting has the potential to sparkle.

  • Evan Lewis — Evan had a fairly good series opening the bat. He scored 178 runs in his 5 innings, including 2 fifties, and at an average of 35.60. His 71 runs in the first game were a masterclass and earned him the man of the match award. Undoubtedly, he will maintain his place in the upcoming series against Australia.

The Negatives

  1. Same old same old in playing spin — the age-old problem of the West Indies maneuvering the spinners after the powerplay in the middle overs reared its ugly head again and again.

I agree with Kieron Pollard’s assessment after the series when he stated it is “the definition of insanity to repeat the same mistakes.” 

Against the spinners, I think we should be getting twos and threes, rotating the strike, and hitting the odd bad ball. The Windies’ middle-order batting made an average spinner in Tabraiz Shamsi earn a man of the series award.

He finished with figures of 20 overs, 80 runs, 7 wickets, and an average of 11.42. Coach Simmonds has his work cut out to change the “big shot always mentality,” or teams will continue to exploit this weakness.

  • Russell and Gayle were poor — the Jamaican duo of Andre Russell and Chris Gayle are considered to be two stalwarts in world T-20 cricket. They have been bought and retained by franchises in most major leagues in the world.

Therefore, it was extremely disappointing to see their batting production in this series. After scoring a solid 32 in the first match, Gayle scored 8, 9, and 0 in the next 3 matches he played.

In the four matches Russell played, he had scores of 6, 25, 5, and 11. If 1 of these 2 players had delivered even 20 more runs, the Windies would have won this series 4-1 instead of losing.

  • Keeping your cool when it’s down to the wire — the West Indies make it hard on their fans to feel they can win a tight game. The team prides itself on chasing down any total, but it always feels that there is a batting collapse waiting right around the corner.

The West Indies had a chance to win in almost every game in this series but in the end succumbed to the pressure and lost 3 of the 5 games.

Yes, this T-20 series exposed the ability of some of the young players but exposed their star players and their deficiencies against spin.

With 10 T20s games left in the summer series against Australia and Pakistan, the team must step up to make the preparation a good dress rehearsal for the showpiece World tournament later this year. 

Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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