By Neto Baptiste
Legendary West Indies batsman and one of the most successful captains in the history of the game, Sir Vivian Richards, has made a passionate plea for consistency from the region’s senior men’s team, adding that it has become “hard” to watch their dismal performance over the past months.
“For us as West Indian fans, it is a hard watch at present. We make little improvements with individuals like Blackwood who came and played that magnificent knock, and then in the next innings we saw that big ‘woof’. We need some consistency because this game is not play for only the first innings or the second innings; you must make some sort of a contribution or fight for both innings and I am not seeing that,” he said.
The Antiguan was speaking on the heels of the team’s poor performance in the two team series against New Zealand.
On Sunday, West Indies lost the second Test against New Zealand by an innings and 12 runs at Wellington after going down by an innings and 134 runs in the first Test.
Sir Viv, who scored 8,540 runs in 121 Tests, said the aggression and passion that has driven the regional team for so many years has seemingly dwindled into nothingness, despite promises of improved performances.
“I know that with all the professional stuff we brought on board, that we were supposed to have some massive improvements but I am not seeing that. We are struggling to play the short ball, and we look like the individuals we use to deal with when we were [dominating]. We are looking very timid and West Indians over the years have always been part of that destructive force when it comes to playing fast bowling. There are certain improvements in the team but we are seeing it in bits and pieces and we are not seeing those pieces being out together, we are not seeing that,” the former batting great said.
Wicketkeeper batsman Joshua Da Silva, however, came in for high praise from the former captain, who hailed the player for his technique and approach to the game.
“I think some of these guys should have a look at him and see how simple he keeps his game because even for the period I saw him at the crease, he was compact, not flashy, and had the bat coming down with all kinds of flashiness and he looks very respectable to me, like he knows his game. You see him when he is batting and when he is looking to defend, how straight his bat is. He looks organized to me and you’re not seeing that in all of the other guys ,” Sir Viv said.
Earlier this week, the Board of Directors of Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced it has approved in principle a three-ODI and two-Test tour of Bangladesh, set to begin in January 2021.
The West Indies are expected to arrive in Bangladesh on January 10 with a one-day warm-up match scheduled for January 18. The first ODI has been scheduled for January 20 in Dhaka while the first Test is set to begin in Chattogram on February 3.