Former West Indies opener Philo Wallace described the feeling of watching the West Indies batsmen struggle against spin bowling as “disheartening.”

“It’s very disheartening to see our batsmen continue to struggle against spin,” said Wallace on the Mason & Guest radio show in Barbados on Tuesday.

The West Indies suffered an embarrassing 0-3 series defeat against Bangladesh last week at Providence in Guyana, a surface known to favor spin bowling.

“They have to find a method of how to play slow bowling. I find it very uncomfortable that our batsmen don’t seem to understand how to play on that type of surface,” said Wallace, who played seven Tests and 33 ODIs from 1997-2000.

The inability to play spin meant that the hosts were unable to bat out the full 50 overs in any of the matches, something Wallace said is not acceptable.

“You can’t consistently get bowled out inside 50 overs. When you find yourself three or four wickets down inside the first 20 overs, you’re going to struggle. They’re not getting the starts from the openers. The middle order is struggling and leaving it to some sluggers at the bottom,” he said.

When questioned about a solution to the problem, Wallace pointed to something that has been an issue for the West Indies in limited overs cricket for more than a decade, rotation of the strike.

“You have to be fit and you’ve got to work around the ball and know your partner at the other end. When you get your ones and twos up front, it will make it easier for the guys at the back end,” Wallace said.

He further emphasized his point by highlighting an innings played by South African Rassie van der Dussen against England on Tuesday where he scored 134 off 117 balls hitting only 10 fours and no sixes. South Africa hit no sixes in their innings and were able to score 333-5 from their 50 overs before bowling England out for 271.

 

 

 

 

 

Former West Indies batting coach Toby Radford says the team needs to be more adaptable to compete with the best teams in the world in white-ball cricket.

Radford was a guest on the Mason & Guest radio show in Barbados on Tuesday in the wake of the Windies suffering a 0-3 ODI series defeat to Bangladesh.

“Clearly things have got to change with the white-ball because it is inconsistent. I’m sure the talent is there. It needs good planning, structure and organization,” Radford said.

“50-over cricket isn’t won by hitting balls over the ropes. You have to play the pitch; you’re not going to smash the ball over every boundary. On big grounds, you have to look for you ones and twos then when you get on small grounds, you can look to hit boundaries,” he added.

The hosts had a horrid time with the bat in the series, being restricted to scores of 149-9, 108 and 178 in their three times at the crease, unable to manoeuvre the Bangladeshi spinners on some difficult Guyanese pitches.

 “You’ve got to be adaptable and flexible, play the situation, the team you are in front of and the ground you’re playing on. You can’t play white-ball cricket one way in every game and win. It’s not that type of game,” Radford said.

“If you can’t use your feet or you can’t sweep then you’ve really got to get one side of the ball, either stay leg-side or off-side. You have to do something. Just staying one place and allowing somebody to bowl at you and build up pressure is not going to take you anywhere,” he added.

Former West Indies batsman Philo Wallace is surprised at the decision by the Cricket West Indies (CWI) selection panel to not name a vice-captain for the T20I team.

Trinidadian left-hander Nicholas Pooran was announced as the West Indies’ new T20 and ODI skipper on Tuesday following the retirement of former captain Kieron Pollard from international cricket last month.

Barbados batsman Shai Hope was named the ODI vice-captain but there was no such announcement for the T20 format.

“Shai Hope is being designated as his deputy for the 50-over squad. There’s no vice-captain for the T20 squad, which I find very interesting,” said Wallace while appearing on the Mason & Guest Radio Show in Barbados on Tuesday.

Missing international assignments has been a big problem for the West Indian players, who are involved in various T20 leagues around the world and Wallace hopes this doesn’t become an issue with the new Windies skipper.

“His first assignment is away to Holland and I hope that we don’t hear that Pooran is going to miss a lot of international cricket after being elevated to this very serious post. I do hope that the selectors would’ve sat down with him via zoom and have a serious discussion with him about what they are expecting of him and what he’s expecting of himself and try to pick the best possible squads going forward,” he said.

“All I can say is I wish him all the very best and I do hope that he can help turn our cricket around and work closely with the players, selection panel and the coaches to try to lift the quality of our white ball cricket,” Wallace added.

Pooran has so far scored 1121 runs at an average of 40.03 in 37 ODIs and 1193 runs at an average of 27.74 in 57 T20Is.

The issue of Andre Russell’s loyalty to West Indies cricket was up for discussion on the Mason&Guest talk show in Barbados on Tuesday night and it sparked a contentious conversation between the show’s host Andrew Mason and CWI West Indies Vice-President Kishore Shallow.

Mason believes the CWI is seemingly willing to bend over backwards to accommodate the players’ fancies.

Russell had declared himself unavailable for the West Indies tour of Pakistan for three T20 Internationals citing personal reasons. A relatively inexperienced West Indies team has so far lost two of the three matches with one match to go on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Russell signed on to represent the Melbourne Stars in Australia’s Big Bash League. On the weekend, he scored an unbeaten 42 from 21 balls and was named Man of the Match in the Stars’ six-wicket win over the Sydney Thunder.

On Tuesday, Dr Shallow sought to explain why Russell was in Australia and not in Pakistan helping the West Indies.

“Russell indicated to the lead selector that he was mentally fatigued in the bubble and in the Big Bash League, where he is now, he would be required to be in a bubble,” Dr Shallow said. “That was the rationale provided to the lead selector.”

An obviously exasperated Mason was unable to contain his displeasure at the situation where certain players only choose to represent the West Indies when it suits them to.

“Yes, Dr Shallow, they have got to get the opportunity to make money but there is a word called ‘sacrifice’,” Mason declared, adding that such situations are almost unique to the West Indies.
“The other players don’t do it to their countries, and I am sure Russell is going to be ready to play for us in the world cup and we are going to pick him.

“We cannot continue with the foolishness with these guys.”

Sir Andy Roberts also weighed in on Dr Shallow’s explanation, suggesting that the players seem to make their decisions based on money only.

“These guys just don’t want to play for the West Indies because the fees ain't that high,” said the long-retired fast bowler. “I am not saying that they should not be allowed to go but they should only go if the West Indies do not require their services.”

This is not the first time Russell has faced criticism over his decisions on when to represent the West Indies.

In December 2020, the iconic Antiguan fast bowler publicly criticized Andre Russell, who declined an invitation to play for the West Indies against New Zealand but later went to play in the Sri Lanka Premier League T20.

Chief selector Roger Harper told media that Russell declined the West Indies invitation citing the need to clear his mind after being in quarantine lockdown for both the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in Trinidad and Tobago where he played for the Jamaica Tallawahs franchise and then, the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Abu Dhabi where he played for the Kolkata Knight Riders.

“Because he wants to clear his head for a while to get his mind together, I have no problem with that because cricket is a high-pressure game,” Ambrose said then.

“So if you want to clear your head for a while, take your mind off cricket I have no issues with that, but if you are going to reject playing for your nation, your country, and then two weeks later you’re playing for somebody else, that to me is a no-no.”

In a later interview, Ambrose provided further clarity.

“The game has evolved. There is a lot more cricket being played now and many different T20 tournaments around the globe and there’s lots more money as well, so guys are going to go where the money is and I have no issues with that,” Ambrose said.

“A cricket career can be a very short one, once you have an injury it could be all over for you so with guys going around plying their trade with different franchises making money to set themselves up financially, I have no issues with it.

“However, I think it needs to strike a balance somewhere because most of these guys who are playing their trade around the world, it’s because they played for the West Indies team why people saw them and gave them contracts.

So for me, you need to find a balance somewhere where you can give back to West Indies cricket. You need to give back to West Indies cricket at some point as opposed to abandoning West Indies

Cricket West Indies is hoping to give Chris Gayle a proper send-off at Sabina Park when it hosts Ireland for a white-ball series in January next year.

Former West Indies opener Philo Wallace does not believe Chris Gayle should be included in a West Indies squad for the ICC T20 World Cup to be held in the United Arab Emirates next month.

Wallace believes the 42-year-old Jamaican, arguably the best T20 player in history, who has served West Indies cricket well over the years, is now well past his best. He cites Gayle's performances so far in the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League as clear signs that the Universe Boss is not the game-changing player he used to be.

“Past performances don’t cut it,” Wallace argued while speaking on the Mason&Guest radio show in Barbados on Tuesday evening.

“Gayle has done wonderfully well. I have no disrespect for Christopher Gayle. I think he has done wonderfully well for the West Indies and himself but the time has come where you need to sit down or stand in a mirror and say ‘can I make it? Can I make it through a world cup?”

At the time he made his comments Gayle had scored 83 runs in five matches in the 2021 CPL with a top score of 42. He is averaging 16.6 runs an innings and has a strike rate of 110.60. According to Wallace, those numbers are simply not good enough.

“For where he is right now in the CPL, it’s a bit of a struggle for someone like Gayle knowing his reputation and what he can do, but you want people of that vintage to be striking it,” Wallace said.

“You had enough time to prepare for the CPL and you know that the CPL is coming before selection for the World Cup.

“If you really wanted to make a statement that I want to go to the world cup despite my age you need to be striking the ball and score runs. There is no excuse for it.”

Wallace named the team he would select for the World Cup and it included Kieron Pollard (captain) Nicholas Pooran (vice-captain), Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons Shimron Hetmyer, Fabian Allen, Andre Russell, Obed McCoy, Dwayne Bravo, Jason Holder, Andre Fletcher, Hayden Walsh Jr, Akeal Hosein, Odean Smith and Roston Chase.

He listed Sherfane Rutherford, Oshane Thomas and Romario Shepherd as his reserves.

“There is no Gayle, there is no Fidel Edwards because I feel when you get to a certain vintage and you are not fit you have to quit,” Wallace said.

“This cricket is going to be hard. The UAE is not going to be easy against the best players in the world. New Zealand has left out Ross Taylor as well, so they’re looking to move on. West Indies cricket needs to move on.”

 

 

 

Ian Bradshaw was not impressed with the manner of the West Indies victory in the three-match T20 series against Sri Lanka citing how poor the batsmen of the Caribbean were during the series.

The former West Indies bowler has suggested that if the West Indies was the win a third ICC T20 World Cup later this year, the coach and selectors need to have frank and honest discussions with the batsmen about their performances, especially about how and when they lose their wickets.

Going forward in a world cup year, he said, “this would be the time to have some honest words within the camp and I am sure that Coach Simmons and maybe Chief Selector Roger Harper will have to be brutally honest with the guys.

“Experienced or inexperienced, our match awareness will have to be a lot better.”

In the matches played at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua, the West Indies won the opening match by four wickets chasing 132 for victory. Chasing 160 in the second match, the home side lost badly by 43 runs. They eventually clinched the series by virtue of a three-wicket win, needing only 132.

Many of the West Indies batsmen did not live up to expectation. Lendl Simmons managed only 73 runs from the three matches; Evin Lewis, 55, Jason Holder, 52, Kieron Pollard 51, Nicholas Pooran, 31, Chris Gayle, 29, and Dwayne Bravo, 6.

Speaking on Mason & Guest with host Andrew Mason on Tuesday night, Bradshaw said when it comes to T20 matches, it comes down to more than just the number of runs scored. “It’s the manner of the dismissals,” said the 46-year-old Bradshaw, who represented the West Indies in five Tests and 62 ODI's between 2004 and 2007.
“Yes, we showed weakness and uncertainty to the spinners, but it is how collectively as a unit, we bat the spin,” he said, adding that several batsmen were also tentative against aggressive pace bowling.

Bradshaw insisted that the West Indies batsmen will have to show significant improvement as there was “nowhere to hide. There is too much video, too much analysis.”

The performances of the batsmen were so poor, Brathwaite said, the result could have easily been 3-0 in favour of Sri Lanka and with the world cup mere months away, there is a lot of work to be done.

“As we build towards the world cup, our performances will have to be a lot more clinical,” he said.

“Like so many series, we go into it and we believe our bowling is the weak link and when it comes out, it is the batting that struggles, and this has been the case in all three formats.

“In Test cricket, whenever we score over 500 runs over two innings we’ve won and whenever we score over 300 runs in an ODI we are very competitive but quite often it the batting that has let us down, and the batting in the T20 series showed a bit of irresponsibility.

“The shots that were played put us (under) undue pressure when we didn’t need to be.”

  

 

 

 

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