'We expected more from senior batsmen' - Harper admits disappointment with performance of experienced players against SA

By Sports Desk July 09, 2021

West Indies chief of selectors, Roger Harper, has admitted that much better performances were expected from the team’s senior batsman after a sub-par showing against South Africa in the recently concluded T20 series.

Despite starting the series in strong fashion, the West Indies were beaten eventually beaten 3-2 after failing to successfully chase a target of close to 170 in three of five matches.

Fabian Allen had the team’s highest average with 67 in four matches, followed by Evin Lewis with 35.60 in five and Andre Fletcher 32.50 from two matches.  However, there will have been major concerns about some of the team’s seasoned batting stars who struggled to find a way into the series.

Veteran batsman Chris Gayle played four games and averaged just 18.66, with a high score of 32.  Andre Russell averaged 15.50, also in five games, with a high score of 25, team captain Pollard had a high score of 51, but also struggled, managing to average just 22 in five matches.

A few of the team's younger, but seasoned T20 players also struggled, with Shimron Hetmyer averaging 19 and Nicholas Pooran 17.75.

The panel of selectors has come under pressure in some quarters for picking the veteran’s trio of Gayle, Fidel Edwards, and Darren Bravo.  However, while Edwards picked up two wickets in two matches and Bravo was the leading wicket-taker with 10, the spotlight has continued to shine on Gayle’s struggles.

“Certainly, Bravo was the leading wicket-taker and Fidel played a couple of games and started to get into stride in the second game.  But from a batting perspective we expect quite a bit more from the senior guys,” Harper told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“Maybe we just got carried away with the manner and the method that we used to win that first game from a batting perspective and just thought that we could continue in the same vein and found ourselves in a hole in the middle overs because South Africa adjusted their approach.”

 

Related items

  • In order to retain T20 World Cup - Windies may need someone to fill Samuels shoes In order to retain T20 World Cup - Windies may need someone to fill Samuels shoes

    Former member of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) selection panel, Roland Butcher, believes it could be critical for the West Indies to find a capable replacement for retired batsman Marlon Samuels if the team is to have a chance of retaining the T20 World Cup.

    The mercurial Samuels played a key role on both occasions the team won the title, managing to put together innings that balanced an abundance of caution at the crease, with scoring aggression when needed.

    In 2012, Samuels average a solid 38.33, with a strike rate of 132 en route to the team’s triumph but more importantly top-scored in the final, with 78 from 56 deliveries, giving the West Indies a comfortable win over Sri Lanka.

    In 2016, it was Carlos Brathwaite that got the accolades in a thrilling, brutal final-over onslaught in the final against England but it was Samuels who once again top-scored at the other end, his 85 from 66 balls proving just as crucial in the team’s title triumph.  For that tournament, Samuels averaged 36.20 with a strike rate of 112.42.

    “West Indies will play their brand of cricket, which is all guns blazing, but let us remember in those two World Cups that they won there was a certain Marlon Samuels who was the glue,” Butcher told the Mason and Guest radio program.

    “Among all of those stars there was someone who could hold the team together and, when needed, up the scoring rate.  What they need to do is to find someone to play that role and play it successfully,” he added.

    Among the candidate to do so for the upcoming tournament will be Roston Chase whose performance during the recently concluded CPL saw him force himself into the thoughts of the selectors.  For the finalists, St Lucia Kings this season, Chase averaged an impressive 49.55, with a strike rate of 144.33.

    “The question will be whether Roston Chase can perform that role to that level on the international stage.  This is the international level with the best teams, it’s not the CPL.  Marlon Samuels proved, not just on those two occasions, that when things were tough, he was the go-to man.”

  • Sunshine Girls booked to face England in Vitality Roses Reunited series Sunshine Girls booked to face England in Vitality Roses Reunited series

    The Jamaica Sunshine Girls are set to take on England in a three-match series dubbed the ‘Vitality Roses Reunited’ set for London, in November.

    The teams were originally set to face-off in a series in January but that was postponed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and strict travel restrictions.  The upcoming series will still be subject to Covid-19 travel restrictions but will be played in front of a maximum capacity stadium, with measures regarding crowd sizes eased in England.

    The series will help both teams begin preparations for the next year’s Commonwealth Games, which will take part in Birmingham, England next year.  The Jamaicans have not played in an official international competition since the World Netball Cup in 2020.

    The series is set to tip-off on November 28th at the Copper Box Arena, before moving on to the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, with consecutive games on December 4 and December 5.

  • The Ashes: 'No special deals' for England cricketers travelling to Australia, claims Scott Morrison The Ashes: 'No special deals' for England cricketers travelling to Australia, claims Scott Morrison

    England's travelling party for the Ashes will not benefit from any "special deals" regarding quarantine rules when they arrive in Australia, according to the country's prime minister Scott Morrison.

    The first Test of England's tour of Australia begins on December 8, though it has been reported that a host of players are considering withdrawing from travelling.

    This would be due to the strict COVID-19 protocols in place for travellers arriving in Australia, with new arrivals having to undergo a mandatory isolation period in a hotel.

    Earlier this year, tennis stars such as Novak Djokovic had to spend up to two weeks in their hotel rooms prior to taking part in the Australian Open.

    Australia do plan to ease those restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers, but only once 80 per cent of the nation's adult population have received both doses.

    Prime minister Morrison says that figure will hit 50 per cent this week, while he discussed the matter with United Kingdom counterpart Boris Johnson in Washington D.C.

    However, he insisted England's squad would have no special arrangements made for them.

    "I would love to see the Ashes go ahead, as I shared with Boris last night," Morrison said, as reported by BBC Sport.

    "But there's no special deals there, because what we're looking to have is vaccinated people being able to travel.

    "I don't see a great deal of difference in skilled workers or students who will be able to come to Australia when you reach those vaccination rates.

    "Those who are coming for that purpose when it comes to their profession, which is playing cricket, I don't see the difference between that and someone who's coming as a skilled, qualified engineer or someone who's coming to be ready for study."

    Cricket Australia is set to provide details around the travel and quarantine arrangements for the tour to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) this week. 

    England players will then be able to make decisions on whether they wish to be included in. the squad, which will be announced in early October. 

    Prime minister Johnson said: "I raised it and he said he was going to do his best for the families. He merely undertook to come back and see if he could find a solution."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.