Can Windies Team Rewind and Get Back on Track?
Following a meek surrender in the Test series - the Windies team made a big statement at the start of the five-match ODI series, managing to square the series after the first three games.
In both Guwahati and Vizag, the Windies batsman toil the Indian bowlers as they were able to cross 300-run mark on both occasions quite comprehensively.
It was rare to see the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal dealt with such authority, especially on the pitches which assist spinners. Hetmyer and Hope time and again were able to deposit the ball into the stands which speaks a lot more than just their skill and temperament. The duo has been the flag bearers of this batting resurgence from the visitors. The way duo stamped their authority was nothing short of master class.
However, what followed in the latter half of the series and in the two T20 Internationals played so far has been an absolute turnaround. Further, the three-match T20 series has so far been no different with the Indian team managing to have a result of series in first two games itself.
Anyone watching this team closely would agree that team certainly has some big names and some promising stars. Their past accomplishments and the current bunch of players would be a perfect tone for any team to jump at the echelon they deserve -- but not in the case of men-in-maroon.
Batting at No. 3 and 5, have always been two crucial positions and for any team to either post or chase a score, it's important to have their best batsman play at these two spots. Largely because of either they need to shape the innings or need to set the pace. The team's doing well for a considerable long run have been lucky to have their best players at these two numbers.
For India, it's Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, for South Africa its Faf Du Plessis and JP Duminy, for England its Joe Root and Eoin Morgan. Similarly, if Windies needs to replicate the performance they had against India in the first three ODI games on a regular basis, it's important for Shai Hope and Hetmyer to believe it's their responsibility to either put big runs on the board or chase a stiff target.
2. Belief and Temperament
West Indies - now Windies have always been lucky to have good talent born in different eras, the only reason for the current team not being as successful as some of the greats who have played this game for West Indies are of belief and temperament. The team is lacking belief, and with the World Cup around the corner, it seems to be the best time for players and management to pick all the scattered bricks and place them together.
It will be important for Windies to capitalize on this effort and play as a unit in the last T20 International against India. Going forward, the idea shouldn't be to win every game but to learn and not repeat the mistakes they have already done.
3. The relationship between Selectors and Players
Before the start of T20 series, many cricket-pundits were of an opinion that as the format gets shorten, it gets tough to beat a side like Windies. However, the team was able to showcase just the opposite of what everyone was expecting.
The defending T20 World Cup champions didn't perform like 'champions'. And the reason for this seems to be the ‘affectionate’ concordance between the board and the players. The two parties aren't on the same page, because of which the team selection is driven less by performances and more by 'ego'.
The Windies players are supposedly the most loved players in the world, and this is one of many reasons every cricket fan wants them to do well on the biggest stage -- International level. It will be interesting to see if they are able to act according to the hour requirement. Can the Windies team rewind former times and get back on track?