It was a gallant effort by all-rounders captain Darren Sammy (84 runs) and Adrian Russell (42), but the West Indies went down by 30 runs to #1 ODI team Australia. With the Australians batting well and making an attainable 281 when they expected to go beyond 300 the way the started, the West Indies lost early wickets and seemingly hung their hopes on Pollard. However, when Pollard went for 33, it seemed all was lost until the Captain and Russell came together. This was not the first that they’ve done something like this. In fact, the performance had many questioning why both these men are not further up in the order… perhaps the same people who wondered why Sammy batted before the wicketkeeper (Baugh) in previous series where the West Indies fared poorly.
The loss meant the Aussies leveled the 5-match ODI series at 2-2, with the 3rd match ending in that dramatic tie. So, the drought continues for the West Indies against Australia but the West Indies can say that they should’ve won the series 4-1 and build on those mistakes. In addition, the “fortis” man, Marlon Samuels, needs to improve his attack in one-day and T-20 situations by practicing more and demonstrating his class. Otherwise, he should sit out the shorter forms of the game in the next series. There’s no question about his batting in the test matches, however.
That being said, the West Indies still needs Chris Gayle in all 3 forms of the game. He’s still the best cricketer we have. In addition, we could use Chanderpaul in the tests, until he decides to retire from international cricket, which I expect to happen by the end of this year.
Welcome back Barath. Hopefully we will see a lineup like the following in the tests:
Openers (2): Chris Gayle, Adrian Barath
Middle order (4): Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Shiv Chanderpaul, Brendan Nash
Wicketkeeper (1): Carlton Baugh
Bowlers (4): Dwayne Bravo (all-rounder), Darren Sammy (captain), Kemar Roach, Sunil Narine (spinner)
I am OK if Baugh or a fit Ramdin plays. Also, I’m OK with Bishoo replacing Narine. If Roach is injured then we have to go with Best. Pollard is omitted from my list because he’s a master ODI and T-20 man who also bowls decent medium pace. Vastly improved, he still hasn’t fully demonstrated his mastery to include him over Nash or Samuels. That team can defeat the Australians in the upcoming test series.