Australia Vs West Indies First ODI at Kingston

Australia vs West Indies contests used to be thrilling in the past

Doherty Has Quality

Doherty Has Quality
Doherty Has Quality | Source

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Can the West Indies cricket team regain its old glory?

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West Indies Proves an Inferior Stuff

West Indies Team Is Sub Standard

Ultimately my fears about the Australia-West Indies ODI match have come true. I thought that the present West Indies team is a sub-standard team. With few exceptions like Pollard and Gayle (Gayle is not in the team now), other members are fit at the most to play a fifth division club league. Therefore my fear was that the Australia vs West Indies ODI, T20 and Test match series may turn into a totally one-sided contest. This has been proved in the first match played at Kingston.

Bowlers’ Pitch

The pitch proved to be a tough one for the batsmen. The pitch at Mirpur was a batting paradise and Sachin made the best use of it to score his hundredth ton. But here in Kingston, the Australian batsmen struggled to play every ball. The average score in this ground for the last ten matches has been 202 and Australia should be complemented for exceeding this average by 2 runs to make a total of 204. None of the batsmen scored even a half century. The top scorer was Bailey with 48 runs from 67 balls with five fours. Warner contributed 40 runs off 55 balls with five fours. D J Bravo was the most successful West Indies bowler in terms of wickets with 3 for 58.

Doherty Has Quality

When West Indies replied, it was a shoddy show. None of their batsmen looked like settling down and taking up the challenge. They played like club cricketers. Wickets fell at regular intervals and the end was predictable. When the West Indies was at 104 for 9, I switched off my TV set and went to sleep as it was already well past midnight in India. In the morning, I was quite surprised that the West Indies captain Sammy scored 35 runs off 20 balls with 3 fours and 3 sixes and had a last wicket partnership of 36 runs with Roach. But even this could not prevent the West Indies collapse. Australia won the match by 64 runs, Xavier Doherty made the best use of the pitch conditions and came out successful with 4 for 49 runs. He was hit for 18 runs through three sixes off his first over but stabilised subsequently. Doherty possesses the quality to become a top spin bowler in future.

Induct Gayle into the Team

For Australia, G J Bailey made his one day debut. For West Indies, J Charles made his debut. G J Bailey was awarded the man-of-the-match award in his very first match. West Indies should try to romp in its star opener Chris Gayle into the team. Gayle had made some unwarranted statement against the West Indies Board and the Board is insisting on an unqualified apology from the player to reinstate him into the side. But Gayle is refusing to do so. He seems to be content to playing in IPL and BPL which fetches lots of fame and money. Remember, Lasith Malinga, the chief bowler of Sri Lanka had sacrificed his flourishing test career for Sri Lanka at the age of 27 in order to play in the IPL.

West Indies Needs Gayle and Not the Other Way

Gayle has no loss in not playing for the West Indies. But West Indies team is suffering because of this. At the same time the Board cannot induct Gayle into the team without the apology forthcoming. I feel that some former players like Clive Lloyd or Vivian Richards should step in and try to solve this ego problem. If Gayle is present in the team, the matches will be made interesting. Otherwise it will be a timid show and poor spectator interest. West Indies are in for receiving a heavy drubbing from Australia.

Quality Is Missing In Both the Teams

Once upon a time Australia vs West Indies matches were very thrilling to watch. Remember the famous tied test in Brisbane in 1960 when Frank Worrell was the captain and Wes Haals was the bowler. When Clive Lloyd was the captain, West Indies possessed a battery of fast bowlers like Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Joel Garner and Colin Croft. They also had powerful batsmen like Roy Fredericks, Vivian Richards and Clive Lloyd. Australia also had speed machines like Jeff Thomson and Denis Lillee. They possessed attacking batsmen like Ian Chappell, Doug Walters, Greg Chappell and Ross Edwards among others. Such a contest was interesting to watch. Compared to that era, the present set of players in both the sides makes the game uninteresting. At least in Australia, there are some above average batsmen like bowlers. In West Indies, the quality of the game is declining every day. I still remember the collapse of West Indies in the quarter finals against Pakistan in the last World Cup. Compare that with the performance of the West Indies against Pakistan in the 1979 World Cup when Pakistan was bulldozed by the powerful fast bowlers of West Indies. When will West Indies regain its past glory?

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