By Neto Baptiste
Former West Indies, Leeward Islands and Antiguan fast bowler Winston Benjamin has come to the defence of opening batsman, Kieran Powell, following calls for him to be dropped due to recent poor performances for the West Indies.
“Powell has played the two Test matches against South Africa and he hasn’t done a great deal, but my point is that he was given an opportunity again, so why don’t we give him a proper opportunity like you would have given to everyone else,” Benjamin said.
“They did the same thing to a guy from the Windward Islands — Devon Smith – but, again, I will say this: people need time as you make progress to settle in. It is not everybody is going to jump up one time and become the greatest.”
In the opening Test against Pakistan, which the West Indies won by one wicket, Powell went scoreless in the first innings before managing only four runs in the second.
The Nevisian, who replaced the injured Shai Hope in the first Test against South Africa in June, batted only in the second innings and made 14. In the second Test of the series played in St Lucia, the batsman made only five in the first innings but returned in the second innings to post a half century at 51 at 116 deliveries during which he slammed nine fours.
Benjamin believes that selectors are too hasty to chop some players while others are given a much longer period to adjust.
“They have a young opener from Windward Islands in Kavem Hodge and he went to Bangladesh. He bowls left-arm spin but I am not hearing anybody saying that he should get an opportunity but we are going back for Shai Hope and we are going back for Shamar Brooks but nobody is talking about Hodge. It’s about fairness, not about anything else,” he said.
The second Test is slated to start on Friday in Jamaica.