PUNE – Legendary former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd says the Caribbean side appeared hindered by their glut of Twenty20 cricket, during their recent embarrassing Test series loss to India.
Lloyd, who led West Indies to triumphs in the two first ever World Cups in 1975 and 1979, told the Indian Express the tourists seemed to be “drunk” with T20, and clearly failed to make the transition between the game’s different formats.
West Indies suffered heavy drubbings in both Tests in Kolkata and Mumbai, as they were punished with innings defeats inside three days on both occasions. The series marked only their second Test outing of the year and their first against top tier opposition.
“I think they looked drunk [on T20]. I personally believe that T20 is something that brings people to the game, brings money to players and if its doing that then you have to stick with it,” said Lloyd.
“However, a diet of too much T20 can be very harmful. I believe T20 is an exhibition while Test cricket is an examination. If you can separate them, then it is absolutely fine.
“However, I don’t want the first thing that young players want to learn is to hit the ball out of the ground. Proper technique and the vital rudiments of the game are
West Indies suffered batting meltdowns in both Tests, with Marlon Samuels’s 65 in the first innings in Kolkata remaining the highest score for the tourists in the series.
Denesh Ramdin’s unbeaten 53 in the second innings in Mumbai was the only other half-century for West Indies.
Lloyd, a master batsman in his era, said the Windies batsmen lacked application and could learn a few lessons from their Indian counterparts.
“I think and I hope that the West Indian batsmen have learned their lessons after watching how the Indian batsmen went about their business,” he noted.
“The Indians can play aggressive ODI cricket but they can also transform into Test player, show restraint and bat for long periods. You simply cannot play some
of the shots that a few of the [West Indian] batsmen played.
“The batting unit is pretty young, but these young batters need to learn how to apply themselves in a Test-match situation.”
Lloyd said the series defeat was cause for introspection, with captain Darren Sammy also needing to evaluate his role in the side.
Sammy struggled with bat and ball during the series, making just 25 runs from his four innings and going wicket-less
in 21 overs bowled.
“Sammy as a captain has brought the guys together. They are definitely looking a better bunch under his leadership,” Lloyd conceded.
“But now, I think people are taking a look at the balance of the side. I believe that when a team is losing, the captain is the first person to be blamed. However, having said that, he [Sammy] needs to take a look at himself, put his hand up and the selectors need to take a decision on his future.”
He added: “The performance hasn’t been good at all. It has been a deeply disappointing tour. The team needs to have a hard look at itself and they have a lot of work to do. It is important for them to take this disappointing show in their stride.”
“We were short on penetrative bowling. I believe that any side you choose, be it ODI or Test, it needs to have balance.
“Sadly, there is no visible balance
in this side.”