WEST INDIES SHORT ON BOWLING

The West Indies were named among the favourites to win the ICC World T20 currently on in Sri Lanka based largely on the strength of its batting more than anything else. The batting line up includes Chris Gayle, perhaps the most destructive T20 batsman on the planet; the inconsistent but extremely dangerous Keiron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Dwayne Smith; players who have performed well in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the best T20 competition in the world.

But going into the World T20 the Windies had a major problem that few paid attention to perhaps believing that the Caribbean side could win the competition with its potentially powerful batting.  However, to win matches you need bowlers who can take wickets and take them regularly. The best way to control the flow of runs in competition is to take wickets yet the West Indies, for whatever the reason, went into the competition without their best bowler, Kemar Roach. Yes, Roach has only taken nine wickets in 10 T20 internationals but his pace and accuracy is much better than the erratic Fidel Edwards and the inconsistent Ravi Rampaul. Evidence of the erratic bowling was plain to see in the Windies opening match against Australia when the Caribbean cricketers were unable to defend a very good total set by the batsmen Р191- a score that most other teams could defend.

Edwards and Rampaul basically stoned the bats of the Australian batsmen giving them free runs, helping them build momentum and confidence. By the time Narine and Marlon Samuels were brought in, it was they who were under pressure to stem the flood of runs from the Aussie bats, not the other way around. That and the fact that the Australians had a clear plan to deal with Narine’s ‘mystery’ spin. As a result, by the time the rains that ended the match came, the Australians were 17 runs ahead of where the West Indies were.

The problem is where do the West Indies find the bowlers? There is no Roach and Rampaul, while dangerous, gives up too many runs early. Edwards, as far as I am concerned should not be playing in T20s. He is neither accurate nor able to strike with the new ball and that makes him redundant. West Indies will hope to see an improved performance from their bowlers from here on if they hope to advance. Like they did a couple years ago when they failed to defend a score of more than 200 against South Africa, the West Indies was unable to defend the solid work of the batsmen.

Its almost like they learned nothing about the pitch and how to bowl at their opponents during the time they batted and that is what cost the team against Australia.

Sunil Narine, voted player of the tournament of the last IPL season, is not a strike bowler. He has the ability to throttle batsmen but in a situation like the West Indies found itself against Australia where the team batting second had rushed to 30 runs off the first 13 balls, it was going to be hard for any bowler to apply pressure when the team batting was well ahead of the required run rate of 9.60.

The West Indies line up consisted of three specialist bowlers, Edwards, Rampaul and Narine, and a handful of what we can loosely refer to as all-rounders. If the West Indies are to have a legitimate shot at winning this competition the bowlers will have to bring their ‘A’ game to every game. If they do not, it will be deja vu all over again when they get bounced from a tournament they were favoured to win.

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One Response to “WEST INDIES SHORT ON BOWLING”

  1. Vaga says:

    Some of us have been making the statement for a long time. Too many all-rounders,and the consistent inclusion of Sammy in all formats of the game doesn’t help.Dwayne Bravo,Russell,
    Pollard, and Sammy cannot be selected to play together.We must slot a specialist bowler there and it should not be Fidel Edwards. We need a leftarm specialist bowler spin/pace.
    We have Benn,Miller and Santokie.

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levyl Posted by: levyl September 23, 2012 at 4:17 pm