PORT OF SPAIN – Two former West Indies cricketers called the Caribbean team’s nine-wicket victory in the first Test match against Zimbabwe excellent, while another said it was to be expected.
Bryan Davis, the Queen’s Park Cricket Club executive manager, said a victory is always a good thing, while former West Indies wicketkeeper and Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board president Deryck Murray said the important thing was that the regional team started winning again.
“I thought it was an excellent performance,” said Murray. “The bottom line is the victory, and a convincing victory, that is what I based my judgement on the performance.” Davis said there was room for improvement in the top-order batting, which didn’t score the runs they should have.
“But the bowlers did their job. Bowlers win Test matches. The batsmen gave them runs to bowl at, so that’s why I thought it was an excellent victory.” Murray said achieving the win so convincingly, within two and a half days, was a “sterling performance”.
“That was excellent, and it is good they are getting into a wining habit.” Asked about the quality of the opposition, Murray said: “At the end of the day winning and/or losing is a habit and it is good to be cultivating a winning habit. The confidence that that instils will obviously help the team when they meet stronger opposition.”
Murray also believed that the Windies could improve in some other areas. And former West Indies pacer Tony Gray said he expected the team to win and dominate Zimbabwe.
“Although they (Zimbabwe) have one or two very good batsmen, they haven’t played Test cricket for a while so I expected the West Indies team, a very talented team, to beat them, and they did.”
Gray, the head coach of the University of Trinidad and Tobago cricket team, said he was happy with Marlon Samuels’ resurgence in Test cricket after his injury. He also approved of the selectors’ choices for the composition of the team.
“I love the fact we had three genuinely fast bowlers. I agree with the selectors bringing back the fast bowlers. We need guys who could take five wicket hauls, so I like the combination and composition of the team.”
Gray said genuinely fast bowlers are necessary in future West Indies squads if the regional team is to have any chance of returning to the number one or two position in Test cricket.
“It’s the only way,” Gray concluded.††