Hellen Keller once said that, “what we have once enjoyed, we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us and will never disappear.”
One of the biggest examples is with the West Indian fans that haven’t ever distanced their team even after witnessing what can only be called a string of humiliating losses.
In the year just gone by, their home ODI series against Ireland and India ended in defeat, and their away series against Pakistan ended in defeat as well.
After a great fight shown in the first test at Perth, where they took the game to Day 5 against might Aussies, the West Indies capitulated badly again in the second test at Adelaide. This inadvertently raised lot of questions from the cricket pundits regarding the standard of cricket in the Caribbean.
The question is whether Windies have the capacity to compete against the best, which is made worse by their failure to compete against the minnows. Maybe, they’re talented, but they don’t apply themselves or learn from their mistakes.
That’s why there is a growing culture of inconsistency that’s taking the game away from the team.
Below are some recommendations for this group of Caribbean boys to salvage some pride or to start winning something that will make 2023 memorable.
Never say die attitude
We have seen over the years that if people are willing to show perseverance, they can overcome any kind of obstacle they face. This also applies to cricket! If you’re able to show continued enthusiasm and determination, you can come out on top even in tough situations. When they are put under pressure, they concede to the other team who took an early lead. They should be strong enough to deal with any pressure they come across, and should be up to the challenge.
Sensibility and Responsibility
Windies great Brian Lara said that the West Indies produce the best young cricketing talent in the world, but lacking infrastructure and exposure prevents them from flourishing. But in my opinion, players should learn to be sensible and smart about their approach. One silly move can ruin your batting/bowling game even if you were in a good position.
Importance of rotating strikes
Although hitting strokes of outrageous brilliance may look impressive at first, such a strategy won’t benefit batters in the long run because of the high level of risk involved. In general, West Indian batsmen, except for Shai Hope, tend to be too impetuous to last long. The practice of batting is integral to cricket, and as such a great batsman will always value running between the wickets. Rather than going for big booming drives, these young players need to learn the art of rotating strike by playing the balls in gap with soft hands.
Fast Bowlers should be ready to bend their back
Since there aren’t many live pitches left in cricket, except at WACA and the Kingsmead, it’s your responsibility as a bowler to put in that extra effort that pays off. While green pitches in England and New Zealand are extremely helpful to the swing bowlers, one can get carried away by bowling wayward in an attempt to get quick results on such pitches.
Nurture good quality spin bowling
Unlike the days when teams used to have all pace attacks in their line-up, these days top teams always have a quality spin bowler in their ranks to give their bowling attack variety. By slowing down the pace, spinners disrupt the set batsmen who thrive on fast bowling.
Last year, in T20I’s, Akeal Hosein picked 18 wickets from nineteen contests and was clearly the pick of their bowlers. The young lad can put together a good whack in the cricket ball as well, as evident from his blistering 60 off just 6.1 overs in an ODI and that too, in Pakistan.
That’s not all.
That there are the likes of Yannic Cariah is awesome news; the Trinidadian making his way into the national-set up after quite a grind. But that they mustn’t take their place for granted and must be dogged enough to amass success goes without saying.
It is easier said than done to implement such above methods into your game, but then nothing comes easy. Moreover, if West Indies want to stop the decline of their cricket, they will have to pull up their socks for no one else will do it for them.