Windies eye consistency

It’s not that the one-time rulers are in serious want of talent. They have some very good players in Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Fidel Edwards, Andre Russell and Adrian Barath, and wily old warhorse Shivnarine Chanderpaul is still around, holding the middle-order together in Tests.

So, you would naturally expect more than the occasional sparks from the Caribbeans, but now they are languishing at seven in the ICC Test rankings just ahead of New Zealand and Bangladesh, and in a similar position in the ODIs, floating above Zimbabwe, Ireland, Netherlands and Kenya.

Alarmingly, the free fall does not seem to stop. Gayle is basking in the Jamaican sun after an ego clash with the West Indies Cricket Board, while other worthies are struggling for consistency, with the exception of Chanderpaul and of late Bravo.

The first one-dayer was a prism to the inconsistency that has been hurting West Indian cricket. After a spirited effort in the third Test at the Wankhede stadium, the West Indies were expected to offer a meaningful fight here. But that wasn’t to be.
The top three – Barath, Marlon Samuels and Lendl Simmons – were eager to showcase their ground-clearing skills than play the Indian bowlers on merit, and their poor approach cost West Indies a good start and eventually the chances of a challenging total.

Skipper Darren Sammy agreed that the lack of consistency was hurting them. “People always see us as underdogs. We have a plan as a team. We have a goal. We just have to be more consistent. Once we play to our potential, we can compete with the best in the world. It’s all about creating chances and grabbing them with both hands, and we are lacking in that area,” he said.

Sammy said coach Ottis Gibbson had been working very hard with the squad to help them reach higher level in international cricket.    

“Under Ottis Gibson, we are showing a professional attitude. The guys are much fitter. We played five Test matches in five weeks against Bangladesh and India, and we had only concern through diets and food related issues.

“Fitness-wise we have become stronger, now we need to focus on improving as a team. I believe we are heading in the right direction. The batsmen are showing signs that they can bat for long period. Most of all, they are showing a fighting spirit.”
Perhaps, Sammy’s words will come true in the remaining matches.

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