Congratulations are in order for the West Indies cricket team for comprehensively beating the New Zealanders 2-nil in the recent Test Series.
In spite of the West Indies winning the series - Test and ODI - against New Zealand, there are still many problems affecting West Indies Cricket.
In the Test arena our batsmen, especially the young ones, have not developed the art of batting for long hours. The batsmen must learn to concentrate on playing only balls on merit; balls far outside the off stump must be left alone.
Test cricket is played over five days and if West Indies players insist on playing at every ball that is bowled at them, they will get out quickly and lose the match within three or four days.
Young players like K Powell and A Fudadin are not yet ready for Test cricket. They must be sent back to play four-day regional cricket to learn how to bat for long hours and build an innings, under good supervision.
The team currently has no match-winning strike bowler to call upon when the situation arises. Roach is trying his best, but he bowls too many no-balls. He needs long hours of on-the-field bowling in the nets, under proper coaching supervision, in order to get him out of this bad practice. In the last Test match, he was no-balled at least seven times. This certainly is unacceptable.
In the spin bowling department, young Narine is a very good prospect for the future and should be handled very carefully. However, it is evident that he is falling into the bad habit of overstepping. Nothing is worse than seeing a spin bowler being no-balled by the umpire for overstepping.
Cricket is a practical game played on the cricket field and not in the classroom. Coach Otis Gibson, if he is worth the salary that he is being paid, must take these guys out on the cricket pitch or in the nets and work with them for hours daily, until they stop overstepping the bowling crease.
I watch a lot of international cricket and I hardly see bowlers being no-balled for overstepping the bowling crease. Overstepping is virtually a thing of the past among other international teams. I can't remember seeing any of the New Zealand bowlers being no-balled for overstepping in the recent Sabina Test.
Coach Gibson needs to deal with this as a priority in order to eradicate it from West Indies cricket.
The coach must also see to it that the guys play long innings. That's the only way they are going to be able to beat teams like England, South Africa, India and Australia in Test cricket. If they don't, they will remain at the bottom of the ladder, struggling to survive.
I am convinced that we have the necessary talents in the region. Proper coaching will do a great deal in turning these talents into world beaters.