Poor planning

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Poor planning

Poor planning cost Windies series win, argues legend Sir Andy

Thursday, August 06, 2020

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Pace bowling legend Sir Andy Roberts believes a lack of proper planning by West Indies following their win in the opening Test at Southampton, led to their poor form in the remaining matches and their eventual series defeat to England.

West Indies took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series with a four-wicket victory, but then collapsed to heavy defeats, losing the second Test by 113 runs and the third by 269 runs, to further extend their 32-year wait for a series win on English soil.

“Considering the way they played in the first Test match, I think after that they didn't sit down and plan for the remainder of the series,” Sir Andy told the Mason and Guest cricket radio show.

“I think we went to England not to win the series but to defend the Wisden Trophy and it showed in the planning.”

Pointing to the use of fast bowler Shannon Gabriel as an example, Sir Andy said the Trinidadian should have been better managed, considering he had just recovered from an ankle operation last December.

Gabriel snatched a nine-wicket haul in the first Test, but appeared jaded and struggling with his fitness in the remaining games and picked up only two wickets.

“One must remember that Shannon Gabriel last played cricket in September, October last year, and apart from that, he had an ankle operation which ruled him out of the original touring party,” the legendary Antiguan explained.

“I thought after performing so well in the first Test, they should have left him out for the second Test because England would have to win consecutive matches to win the series.

“But all of us could see how Shannon bowled in the second Test and then you continued with him again in the third Test match so we didn't plan very well.”

Hes continued: “They played literally the same team every game. I would have liked to see both Alzarri Joseph and Chemar Holder play together in a Test match. You have some young firepower and I think they should have used them in one of the Test matches.”

Sir Andy also criticised the strategy by the West Indies seamers, contending they were too predictable and too often allowed the English batsmen to dictate matters.

In fact, the 69-year-old said enough short balls were used against some batsmen who were clearly not comfortable with that length, and this again reflected the lack of strategic planning.

“Ben Stokes is a fine all-rounder, but Ben Stokes [knew] exactly what balls he was getting. Ben Stokes was walking out of his crease to our medium-fast bowlers,” Sir Andy contended.

“And if you check the last Test match when he got bowled by Kemar Roach, that [dismissal] came along because Kemar Roach bowled him a few short balls which he wasn't getting in the previous Test matches so we have to look at how we're planning.

“Some of the worst techniques I seen to fast bowling is among the England opening pair [of Dom Sibley and Rory Burns], they're not comfortable with short balls but we did not use enough short balls in this series.

“I'm not saying to overdo it but you have to make them (batsmen) think. [You can't allow batsmen to] just sit back and know what is coming at them.”


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