Hope for Windies in New Zealand

Hope for Windies in New Zealand

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

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Dear Editor,

Only a few weeks ago rains pummelled the island during that time West Indies cricketers were in New Zealand preparing for the T20 Internationals and upcoming Test match series. The first of two Test matches bowls off in a few hours and the Jason Holder-led team would be hoping for better results than his fellow Captain Kieron Pollard had in the recently concluded T20s.

In the first T20 the Windies showed glimpses of quality, led by career-best batting displays from Pollard and Fabian Allen. The pair came together after a batting collapse that saw the team losing five wickets for one run and took the score from 59-5 to 143 before losing the another wicket, both batsmen rode their luck, but the partnership ensured West Indies ended on a total of 180/7 off their allotted 16 overs. What followed next was disappointing, to say the least, New Zealand cruised to victory, facilitated by a bowling display that lacked discipline and execution.

The second T20 match was more of the same, the bowling again failing to deliver as New Zealand romped to 238 from their 20 overs — a total that proved to be way out of reach for the reigning world champions.

The third and final match was rained out, preventing the Windies from a possible chance of getting a consolation victory, but, based on how the series had been going, the argument could easily be made that the rain was a blessing for the Caribbean men, preventing a whitewash.

The next edition of the T20 World Cup is due to take place in India next year, and this series provided the opportunity for players to stake their claim for squad selection; however, it turned out to be one they'll quickly want to forget, as the performances are not worth mentioning. Quite a few of these players didn't have the best of Caribbean Premier League (CPL), and confidence would not have been sky high and, given the impact COVID-19 had on preparations, it's only reasonable that we should temper our expectations and criticisms. At the same time, T20 is the only version of the game that we expect and demand victories from this West Indies team, so the constant losses don't hurt.

With Coach Phil Simmons now focused on the Test team, he must be hoping they don't suffer a similar pummelling like what was unleashed on his T20 world champions.

Kemar Bogle

knb800@yahoo.com


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