16th June 2015
Patrolling the Boundary – a view from the outfield
The Australians predictably hammered the inexperienced West Indies team.
Our boys seemed totally intimidated facing the aggressive, clinical Australian team. That was not suprising as most of them had never faced such quality opposition. The English dropped catches and batted and bowled badly at times, but the Aussies never provided such respite.
They were at our boys all the time and supported their bowling with excellent fielding and brilliant catching. In addition, one has to admire the way Michael Clarke manages his team. The Ashes should be very interesting to watch.
For us to post any decent scores we needed Bravo, Samuels and Ramdin to do very well with the bat. Samuels did not play the second Test and did provide some resistance in the first with the admirable Dowrich. Ramdin was a failure as batsman and captain again!
For me the major disappointment was Darren Bravo. To score 49 runs in the series at an average of 12 is disgraceful!! Bravo scored a solitary half-century in 5 Tests in the home season. Simply poor for a batsman approaching 40 Tests. The manner of his casual dismissals was maddening and should have drawn strong words from coach Simmons.
The time has come to remove Bravo from number 3 – he is not worthy of the position. Marlon Samuels must be relieved of bowling, placed at number 3, and tasked with leading this inexperienced batting group forward.
I fear the selectors must have a quandary what to do about Bravo. I suggest Bravo be allowed to return to first-class cricket, rediscover his best batting form and confidence and possibly return for the Australian series later in the year.
On the less demanding tour of Zimbabwe and later on Sri Lanka I would put Samuels at 3 and allow Hope to bat at number 4 with Blackwood at 5 and Dowrich at 6 and hold the wicket-keeper position.
Bravo needs to think hard what the game of cricket means to him and rediscover desire, drive and focus to get better results. David Gower repeatedly said in the English series his wicket is too easy to get, and that sums it up very well.
Finally, Lloyd and selectors must continue sticking with the youth and let them find their feet in Tests. Rebuilding is a slow patient process and these guys don’t have world class or quality senior batsmen to help them along. As I just said, a senior batsman scored a single half-century in 5 home Tests!!
Patience, commitment and solid technical staff support is what this team needs in abundance.
Let’s support them all the way!!
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