India vs West Indies: Difficult for Windies to make a comeback - Daren Ganga
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India vs West Indies: Difficult for Windies to make a comeback - Daren Ganga

The former WI opener feels that a lot needs to change at the backend for the team to start competing against the best in the business.

cricket Updated: Oct 09, 2018 12:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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West Indies lost the first Test against India in just three days.(AFP)

While everyone has been talking about how West Indies put up a poor show in the opening Test of the two-game series against India, former West Indies batsman Daren Ganga feels that a lot needs to change at the backend for the team to start competing against the best in the business. In fact, Ganga says that he understands the reactions that have come in from the fans, questioning their Test status.

“I can understand the reactions. India has set a standard for themselves. This series is not adding any value to the No.1 Test team in the world, more so when they have been defeated by a strong England team in England and they have the challenge of Australia ahead. We also need to consider this Indian team has dominated all opposition over the years at home. Let’s not forget that India is a performing team while Windies are a forming team. That will amplify the gap between the two squads.

“While people on the outside only see these 12-15 players representing the West Indies, they don’t see the back-end of what is happening with our cricket and the systemic issues around it,” he told the Indian Express.

The situation of the West Indian players preferring to play franchise cricket is also a worry. But Ganga feels that lack of financial security is a reason behind the move.

“Teams like India, Australia, England and South Africa have the resources to ensure that their players don’t need to compromise on their marketability, and that as a professional they can continue to earn what they will from the open market even after lining themselves with the national team. They can support their players and satisfy their earning ability at home unlike us. Back home, a lot of it is left to the players themselves to ensure that they become world-class.

“I draw an analogy with the corporate world. If I have invested in a product, there’s no way I am going to leave the quality of the product to chance. If CWI, as stakeholders, continue to invest in West Indies cricket, they must have a more hands-on approach to the quality of cricketers we produce,” he explained.

The former opener feels that the lack of quality players in the domestic circuit has made matters worse for the Windies. “The quality of players aren’t anywhere near those in the 1990s when the Laras and Ambroses would play in our first-class cricket. Every region has 15 centrally contracted players dedicated to playing all-year-round but that security of tenure doesn’t make them better cricketers. The backend of their program of development is non-existent. It’s left to chance.

“You don’t know what’s happening in Guyana as against Barbados as against Jamaica. Because we have a small pool of quality players the competition isn’t great. So players are being selected on potential for international cricket and not performance,” he said.

Ganga also feels that it will be very difficult for the team to make a comeback in the second game. “What I saw in Rajkot was a contrast to what I saw in the Caribbean. The last five Tests played by the Windies were actually good in terms of their form in this format, where they won three out of five and lost only 1 to Sri Lanka. I saw progress in a lot of the players. This was a meek surrender. They capitulated. I have seen it years upon years, when the Windies don’t start well in a Test series, it goes downhill. It’s very difficult for them to recover,” he confessed.

First Published: Oct 09, 2018 12:03 IST