Windies have maintained the tradition – home teams faring poorly in world cups. But the way that they have gone down in the Super 8’s has a lot to discuss. They showed no real commitment in bowling and their batting was way below average. Chris Gayle and Brian Lara failed to rise when the team required them the most.
Their Super 8 match against South Africa was more pathetic. I would definitely say that they gave away nearly 75 more runs which could very well have been saved. AB Devilliers, Gibbs and Mark Boucher were hitting the ball like a baseball match. I was wondering about the tactic behind Lara using the 3rd power play from 45-49. About 75 runs were scored in these 5 overs and these were just take away runs for the Proteas. Proteas played well but Windies bowled very poorly to grant them some extra runs. Many run out chances were missed and overall it was a poor show by Lara’s men.
So where did they go wrong? To be frank, in all departments. They have some good fielders like Bravo and Chanderpaul. But the overall level of fielding is still naive and has a lot to improve. Their bowling clearly lacks a wicket taker. Collymore, Bravo and the team bowls reasonably well – but they are unable to contribute when the batsmen are at the top. Someone like Murali is required to break crucial partnerships. But Windies clearly lack a match winning bowler. Gayle’s under performance with the bat seems to have hit the team strongly. Powell and Sarwan are playing well – but a team needs atleast 4-5 batsmen who are among the runs to compete with world class teams like Australia and South Africa.
I am not very much aware about the internals of West Indies cricket – though I have some ideas about the politics in their cricket world. It is very disheartening to see the world champions for nearly a decade from 1975-83 are reeling in such bad times. With Lara deciding to quit from the one dayers, they are one more top order batsman less. It is hightime that Windies work a lot on their fielding and bowling. Otherwise, we might very well see an even bad show 4 years down the lane (in the next World Cup).