'Calypso collapso' could signal Chanderpaul rethink
West Indies captain Darren Sammy fears his team's top-order collapses could scupper their World Cup hopes but hinted a recall for grizzled batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul may be the answer.cricket Updated: Mar 21, 2011 11:21 IST
West Indies captain Darren Sammy fears his team's top-order collapses could scupper their World Cup hopes but hinted a recall for grizzled batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul may be the answer.
Before Clive Lloyd moulded a winning outfit that won the first two World Cup titles in 1975 and 1979, the West Indies had a reputation as 'calypso cricketers' -- entertaining but fragile.
The West Indies have often returned to their old ways of late and the manner in which they qualified to play Pakistan in a World Cup quarter-final in Dhaka on Wednesday was another example.
West Indies, chasing 269 for victory, were well-placed at 154 for two against India here on Sunday.
But opener Devon Smith's departure for 81 sparked a slump that saw the side lose their last eight wickets for just 34 runs as they crashed to 188 all out.
This followed on from collapses of five wickets for 13 runs and four for three in earlier defeats by South Africa and England respectively.
"The good thing is that it is not the knockout stage," said Sammy after a loss that marked the West Indies' 18th straight defeat by a leading country in a one-day international.
"If that happens (again), we will be going home. It's a worrying thing for us but I still back the calibre of players we have, once we put our heads down and play each ball on its merits.
"We created another opportunity (to win) at 154 for two but we let it slip again. It's something we must correct and correct very quickly."
Veteran batsman Chanderpaul has made a career out of bailing the side out from tough positions but the 36-year-old was left out for the defeats by England and India after struggling in earlier matches.
"Shiv has not basically been in the best of nick," Sammy said. "He has continued to work in the nets. We still respect what he has done and we have full confidence in him," the all-rounder added of the left-hander.
"His opportunity may come in the quarter-finals. We have not counted Chanderpaul out of the XI. He has a big part to play still in this World Cup."
Meanwhile dynamic opener Chris Gayle is set to return against Pakistan after missing the India match with a troublesome abdominal strain.
"Chris will not pass on the opportunity of playing in a World Cup quarter-final," Sammy said.
"I know he will come and give his all for the team."
It was not all doom and gloom for the West Indies at the Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday, with fast bowler Ravi Rampaul, in for Kemar Roach, marking his World Cup debut with a career-best five for 51 -- including the prize wicket of Sachin Tendulkar, caught behind for just two.
"He came in, he'd been on bench but he got an opportunity and grabbed it with both hands," Sammy said. "That's what you want in a team set-up when a new guy comes in."