CPL

‘We would like to see smarter cricket’ – CWI lead selector Harper disappointed CPL batsmen have failed to adjust

By Sports Desk September 06, 2020

Cricket West Indies chief of selectors Roger Harper has admitted the panel hoped to see more ‘sensible’ batting from players under the microscope at the ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL) tournament.

The tournament, being staged in a biosecure atmosphere in Trinidad and Tobago, due to the ongoing threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, has been widely panned for poor batting performances and low scoring.

Statistically, the average score per innings has fallen some 27 runs behind last season, which had an innings average of around 151, as compared to this season’s average of 122.  Perhaps even more instructive, is the fact that in completed matches this season teams have failed to reach double digits on eight occasions as opposed to just once last season.

A lot of speculation has surfaced regarding the reason for the diminished performances to date.  Among them is the fact that players have not played for months, due to the pandemic, and the condition of the pitch.  It has also been suggested that possible quarantine fatigue might be affecting some players who took part in the England series.  It has, however, also been suggested that a lot of it is simply down to irresponsible batting.  To a large extent, Harper concurs.

“I think that yes we expected to have some better cricket.  I think at times a lot of power play was put in and not enough brain play,” Harper told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“We are happy to have some cricket but yes we expected to have some better performances generally, particularly on the batting side of things,” he added.

“Ideally you would like to have pitches more conducive to stroke play from the get-go.  But the batsmen that have generally succeeded have adapted very well.  They have given themselves some time to get in and then capitalised later.  Some players have not gotten that memo as yet, some teams are still trying to score all the runs upfront, when all the runs are scored at the back end.”

 

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