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Problems in plenty

West Indian cricket is in turmoil and lack of talent in their ranks is one of the main reasons for the dismal state of affairs. N Ananthanarayanan reports.

cricket Updated: Jun 12, 2011 01:28 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times

West Indian cricket is in turmoil and lack of talent in their ranks is one of the main reasons for the dismal state of affairs. The team that has hurtled from one defeat to another has, however, also suffered from poor man management with a few quality players being handled poorly.

Chris Gayle has been sidelined with the West Indies Cricket Board insisting that he would be chosen only after he explains his outburst in a radio interview in April.

That meant the team has been deprived of their impact player, not to speak of the experience and class of the man who is perhaps the biggest name in the Caribbean cricket since Brian Lara's retirement.

“The board is doing right things but not the right way,” bemoaned a local journalist after the second ODI defeat in Trinidad.

He was also referring to some of the other players like Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who's also in the dock over his media comments.

The Pollard problem

Kieron Pollard is another curious case. The all-rounder burst onto the scene in a blaze of promise.

From the under-19 squad at the 2006 World Cup, he stepped up by blasting 83 for Trinidad and Tobago in the Stanford Twenty20 that year. Then came a century on his First Class debut, and he appeared the kind of talent the beleaguered West Indies needed.

He is, however, yet to live up to those lofty expectations. In the Indian Premier League (IPL), he was retained by the Mumbai Indians but he did not exactly set the stage on fire like Gayle did.

Back home, many former stars are dismissive of his claims as a genuine all-rounder and an answer to the Caribbean side's woes.

He failed to click in the Twenty20 or the first two ODIs, but Pollard is unfazed by criticism as he candidly looks at where his career is going. “I am doing well in the nets but I have to translate that effort on the field,” he says.

“I have to score and finish off games.” His medium-pace, explosive batting down the order and electric fielding have endeared him to the Indian fans in the IPL.

But Pollard realises, with the team desperate for its next saviour, he is pretty much alone out there as criticism about him mounts.

Find a way

“Individually I have to find the right way. When I go out to bat, it has nothing to do with the team,” he said.

Pollard says despite his modest career statistics so far, he wants to push on and become a durable player.

But efforts like in the second ODI, where he swung at a delivery from Amit Mishra, missed and was trapped in front for a duck, triggering a batting collapse, can't encourage many. But he knows the next big effort will get the fans and experts
behind him.

However, with defeats piling up, patience is running thin in the Caribbean set-up.

First Published: Jun 11, 2011 23:50 IST