By Neto Baptiste
Sir Viv Richards is of the opinion that players are failing at crucial moments in matches, because they are not as physically prepared as they should be when playing at the international level.
He pointed to the fact the players have been charged 60 percent of their match fees for a slow over rate against South Africa in the last Test as evidence that some players may be doing what they think is just enough to see them through from a physical standpoint.
“If you are fit enough then you are able to get around the park much better, but when you’re not, and it comes down to the latter stages, and this is in my opinion, it signals that we are not fit enough to accomplish the stuff that is being asked of us. Look at the South Africans, they have four pacemen in their team and they are getting it done because haven’t they gotten through their quota of overs in whatever period of time? They have done that, so I am just believing that we are not fit enough in order to accomplish, maybe, a full day’s work,” he said.
West Indies were on Tuesday fined 60 percent of their match fees and penalised six ICC World Test Championship points for maintaining a slow over rate in the St Lucia Test.
ICC match referee, Sir Richie Richardson, imposed the sanction after the hosts were ruled to be three overs short of the target after time allowances were taken into consideration.
But that was not the only thing that troubled the scorer of 8540 runs in 121 Tests as Sir Viv pointed to the fact that batsmen are seemingly contented with getting into their 40s or 50s, as it may be just enough to keep them in the squad.
Take for instance Mayers; the guys got to 30 plus  good runs with good cricket shots, and then all of a sudden, a ball that wasn’t short enough for him to accomplish the shot he wanted to play; so it’s about the concentration, shot selection and all those sorts of stuff. Chase had gotten to 40 whatever, Blackwood got to 40 whatever, but sometimes we are not working hard enough when we get to these particular periods,” he said.
“Powell, he hasn’t been around for quite some time and here’s an opportunity; so why not take a page of Labuschagne’s book in terms of what happened in England with Australia vs. England when he got his opportunity. Where is he now? At the top of the Australia batting list and these are the things that help to motivate you,” Sir Viv added.
South Africa won the match by 158 runs on Monday to whitewash the West Indies in the two-match Test series. The visitors won the first Test by an innings and 63 runs.