West Indies captaincy in good hands

By October 18, 2020

On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they've seen throughout the week with different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT

 

  1. Windies captaincy in good hands. Time for the rest of the team to rally.

West Indies named the Test and T20 squads on Friday that will face New Zealand in three T20 Internationals and two Test matches from November 27 to December 15. The captaincy of both the Windies squads is in good hands. It is now up to supporting cast to do their part and contribute.

Jason Holder continues as Test captain having grown as a leader since making his debut against New Zealand in 2014 in Bridgetown.  New Zealand won that match by 53 runs and Holder bagged two wickets and scored a total of 76 runs.

The 28-year-old going into this match will be confident having performed well against the Black Caps in the past. 

In the last Test match he played in Manchester in July 2020, England won by eight wickets. Holder got two wickets and made 58 runs. On current form, Holder has attained the highest points tally by any West Indies bowler in 20 years, reaching a career-best second place in the Test Rankings after playing a crucial role in his side's four-wicket victory over England in Southampton that helped take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

           In the limited overs format, Kieron Pollard leads from the front with his all-round performances.  He has been very impactful for the Mumbai Indians in the ongoing Indian Premier League. In eight matches he has picked up two wickets and scored 174 runs, with a top score of 60 at an average of 174.  In the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League he was named Player of the Tournament. The 33-year-old blasted a total of 207 runs with a top score of 72 at an average of 51.8.  His best bowling figures for CPL 2020 was 4/30. 

With both Pollard and Holder at the helm, the Windies are a force. However, cricket is a team sport and it is up to the rest of team to contribute with bat and ball and ensure they support those leading the charge. 

 2. Can Liverpool win the Premier League without two key players?

 Liverpool departed Goodison Park disappointed by the 2-2 draw against Everton on Saturday.

The real tragedy, however, is that the Reds will be without two key members for some time due to injuries sustained during the match.  Though defender Virgil Van Dijk and midfielder Thiago Alcantara suffered serious injuries it is not over yet for the Premier League champions. However, Jurgen Klopp and the rest of the team have some work to do to cover for the absence of their two world class players.

Van Dijk’s leadership, organizational skill and passing range will be missed as his ACL injury will see him out for more than six months. The 29-year-old Dutchman was a key figure in Liverpool’s dominance having played every minute of the team’s 74 Premier league matches since his move from Southampton in 2018.

In the 2019/2020 Premier League season, the towering centre-back played all 38 matches, scored five goals and had an assist for his club. More importantly, he helped Liverpool’s defence evolve into one of the stingiest in all of Europe.

 The season before, he also helped Liverpool become the best defensive team in England.

His prolonged absence this season is a major blow to Liverpool’s chances of successfully defending the league title and to also make another run at the Champions League title they won in 2018.

Thiago Alcantara also suffered a knee injury against Everton in what was his first start for his new club. He also faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines as a result of a reckless tackle from Everton forward Richarlison.

Despite these injuries to key players, it would be foolhardy to rule the Premier League champions out. However, a lot will depend on Jurgen Klopp to get his players to fill the massive void created by the absence of these two stars.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Related items

  • Nicholas Pooran is one for the future Nicholas Pooran is one for the future

     

    I use my Sundays to look back at what has been happening in the world of sport. On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they have seen throughout the week through different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT. 

    ) Nicholas Pooran - one for the future.    

    West Indies have provided Nicholas Pooran with the opportunity to prove that he is worthy of being part of the Test squad by including him in a 14-man 'A' squad to play a pair of first-class matches in New Zealand next month.

    This, I feel is a good move.

    The 25-year-old Trinidadian has played well in the shorter formats to the extent that many fans and pundits alike have suggested that he should considered for Test selection. There are others, however, who believe he should not be included because of his limited participation in first-class cricket in that he has only played three games for Trinidad and Tobago back in 2014.

    My question is, how will we know unless he tries?

    Sometimes an opportunity is all you need. The chance Pooran is now being given will allow selectors to determine if he has what it takes. Cricket West Indies lead selector Roger Harper believes the player deserves an opportunity.

    "This series will give our players an opportunity to play first-class cricket against foreign opposition as well as experience different conditions here in New Zealand. It will also help to keep them in the frame should the need for replacements for the test team arise as we will have players who have been playing red-ball cricket and in form to consider."

    There are two four-day matches set for December 3 in Mount Maunganui and December 11 in Nelson.

     

    1. Ineffective bowling cost the Windies

    West Indies were outplayed by New Zealand and lost by 72 runs in the second T20 International on Sunday at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. New Zealand’s Glenn Phillips cracked a 51-ball century, the quickest in T20Is by a New Zealander as the home side took a winning 2-0 lead. 

    The West Indies struggled to make a mark in the first two matches of the series. In the first match, there were a combination of errors with the bat and ball.  Despite the heroics of skipper Kieron Pollard, who blasted 75 not out, the Windies lost five wickets for one run and needed Pollard’s brilliant knock to get them back into contention.

    Wickets were also hard to come by as Keemo Paul went for 39 runs in three overs that included five costly no-balls. Kesrick Williams gave up 33 runs in two overs while Fabian Allen went for 32 runs in the 12 balls he was allowed.

     

    In the second T20 international, Andre Fletcher looked good for the time he lasted but was run out on 20 having faced 14 deliveries. Brandon King failed miserably and was dismissed for duck. West Indies' biggest hopes in the middle order Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran failed to fire.

    How many times do we expect the Windies captain to carry the side? Skipper Kieron Pollard top-scored again for the Windies with his 15-ball 28, which included three consecutive sixes off Mitchell Santner but it was not enough.

    As was the case in the first match, none of the Windies bowlers made an impact. Instead of gaining momentum when Guptill and Seifert were dismissed they literally dropped the ball. There were a number of misfields and a general lack of discipline from the bowlers.  Fast bowler Keemo Paul conceded 64 runs in four overs and Sheldon Cottrell went for 39 runs.  

    The final T20 international will be held at Mount Maunganui on Monday, before a two-Test series begins in Hamilton on December 3.

      

    1. The world rocked by the passing of Diego Maradona. RIP Sir.

     On Sunday, Lionel Messi paid an emotional tribute to Diego Maradona by revealing a Newell's Old Boys shirt after scoring for Barcelona in their 4-0 win over Osasuna. The forward looked emotional during the minute’s applause for Maradona, who died at the age of 60 on Wednesday after a heart attack.

    Messi, his fellow Argentine, alongside Pele and Cristiana Ronaldo best summed up the passing of the legend when they said "He is gone, but he will be with us for eternity."

    Without a doubt, Maradona will be remembered for his many achievements on the field. He won titles in three different countries. He took Argentina to victory in the 1986 World Cup. He delivered two league titles to the city of Naples, something most felt was impossible. However, the Argentine’s impact off the field is what touched people the most.

    He was vulnerable and showed that openly as he lived a life of excess in the public eye.  He immersed himself in whatever he did and took on the authorities when they failed to represent what he stood for. He will be remembered for his work on and off the field. Rest in peace, Sir. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Phillips' maiden 100 condemns Windies to 72-run defeat as New Zealand win T20 series Phillips' maiden 100 condemns Windies to 72-run defeat as New Zealand win T20 series

    West Indies were outplayed by New Zealand and lost by 72 runs in the second T20 International on Sunday (Saturday night Caribbean Time) at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.

  • I wanted to give them something special – Phillips delighted after record century I wanted to give them something special – Phillips delighted after record century

    Glenn Phillips was delighted to provide the crowd at Mount Maunganui with an innings to remember after he struck New Zealand's fastest-ever Twenty20 international century. 

    Phillips – playing in just his 13th T20 game for his country – struck a 46-ball ton as the Black Caps amassed a huge 238-3 in a series-clinching victory over West Indies. 

    It was the 23-year-old's first international hundred, Phillips hitting eight sixes and 10 fours in total before suffering a recurrence of a freak knee injury he sustained in the first game in Auckland. 

    He battled on, but his innings came to an end on 108 from 51 balls when he was dismissed by Kieron Pollard. 

    Still, with crowds allowed back at sporting events in New Zealand, Phillips was thrilled to have put on a show in the 72-run win. 

    "That's just an incredible day. You don't get them very often, make the most of it," Phillips said. 

    "My whole thing is to try and be an entertainer for the crowd and, in that moment, having the crowds back, I wanted to give them something special, the whole team wanted to give them something special. It was amazing for me personally, (that) I could be part of it."

    It has been a long slog for Phillips to establish himself in the New Zealand team in the shortest format, having made his T20 debut in February 2017. 

    "I had to go back, work on things, and took a step back to be able to move forward again," he added. 

    "Then I had the opportunities in the Caribbean [Premier League], which slowly worked my confidence back and I was able to have a couple of good performances, being able to come out against these boys has had a massive part of play in that. 

    "To be able to produce the kind of freedom in my performance was the biggest thing for me, and I was absolutely ecstatic. You don't get those very often, and I was going to enjoy it." 

    Phillips and New Zealand have one more T20 contest remaining at Mount Maunganui, followed by Test matches against West Indies in Hamilton and Wellington.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.