One of the leading regional cricket commentators and journalists Fazeer Mohammed says that newly appointed captain of the West Indies Test team Denesh Ramdin needs to read the riot act to the members of his side where it is necessary, but can only do so if he has the strength and conviction derived from his own performances.
“Ramdin has inherited a team that appears quite settled to the task of losing matches rather than winning. The West Indies just cannot continue to give the impression that they are a happy batch of players. As captain Ramdin needs to read the riot act where it is necessary but he can only do so if he has the strength and conviction of his own performance to back up what he says,” Mohammed told Barbados TODAY.
According to Mohammed, there are areas of deficiencies in Ramdin’s captaincy that must be improved.
“There are areas in his leadership that must be improved on the tactical side. He comes across as being a bit too defensive and his wicket-keeping has fallen below its high standards during the recently concluded series against New Zealand. Whether that can be attributed to the burden of leadership is something that he will have to assess. Whatever is the answer, it is a problem that he will have to resolve before the start of the series against Bangladesh,” Mohammed said. He stated that the West Indies were still struggling and it was unrealistic to expect replacing the captain to bring about any immediate change in the team’s performance because it was a work in progress.
The former Trinidad and Tobago youth team off-spinner said there were several encouraging and positive signs during the series against New Zealand.
“The return to the team of fast bowler Jerome Taylor and left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn after a long break was a good sign for West Indies cricket. Fast bowler Kemar Roach who was out of the team for several months due to injury also returned to the team and showed his class. Jason Holder, the young fast bowler who made his debut in the third Test looks like an interesting prospect as an all-rounder. But at end of the day what the fans want to see from the West Indies is a consistently higher level of performance,” Mohammed said.
He said the positive batting of Kragg Brathwaite during the series against New Zealand was another heartening development in West Indies cricket, and suggested that the challenge for the young opener was to continue to develop in that direction, especially with Chris Gayle coming to the end of his Test career.
Mohammed expressed the view that T20 cricket has had an impact on the West Indian players attitude towards test cricket.
“It has affected their ability to think for long periods which is a requirement in the traditional form of the game. It is pointless to talk about keeping some players away from T20 cricket because there is so much money in that form of the game,” Mohammed stressed.
He suggested that the careers of cricketers who are playing in the various T20 leagues must be managed better in consultation with them, and that they should play more first-class cricket. Mohammed admitted that the situation would never be an ideal one because the West Indies Cricket Board did not have the money to keep players at home who were contracted to play in the various T20 competitions overseas.