What took place
Getting beaten seems to be the norm with the West Indies cricket team, unfortunately. Some 15 minutes after lunch on the fifth and final day (Monday night Caribbean time) of the third and final Test in the current series, the WI crashed to yet another defeat in Adelaide. This time by seven wickets.
The mighty Aussies thus completed a whitewash, having won the other two Test matches.
Batting first he WI rattled up 405 with Brian Lara scoring 226 and becoming the most prolific scorer in Test cricket. But even that total was insufficient as the Australians replied with 428 runs. When the WI batted again they could only muster 204 which meant that Australia had a mere 182 runs to get. They got them losing three wickets in the process. But it reinforced Matthew Hayden’s prowess as a batsman of class. He made an unbeaten 87.
Brian Lara was named man of the match while Matthew Hayden was named man of the series.
It was Australia’s 12th win in their last 13 Tests against West Indies. And unfortunately for the West Indies, it was another failure in Australia, where they have not won a Test match since 1992-93.
Many commentators, both in the Caribbean and elsewhere, lamented the routing of the WI and so badly at that! They said that they would like to see the Caribbean team become more competitive.
They feared that if something is not done to raise the standard of cricket in the WI, then, in the minds of many, the regional team could be relegated to the likes of Zinbabwe and Bangladesh, the two minnows of Test cricket.
They commented on the talent of Dwayne Bravo and Denesh Ramdin and added that it augured well for the future and that the WI ought to build on such talent.
The commentators put forward the point that modern day cricket is not only about ability. It is a mind game and that the WI authroities and the players must come to term with that.
Some feel that a fulltime sports psychologist ought to be retained by the WI Cricket Board to help members of the team.
From the crushing defeat of the West Indies by Australia, there are many lessons to be learnt. One is to nurture and build upon the bright sparks of the series, namely Dwayne Bravo and Denesh Ramdin. They together with Corey Collymore, Fidel Edwards and Darren Powell as well as the veterans Brian Lara and Shivnarine Chanderpaul can well see the WI return to glory.
Ramnaresh Sarwan, who has so much raw talent and ability, has got to learn to curb that impulsive urge to hook. He has to realise that he’s not good at that. He must stop it.
There are several ways he can acquire that lesson and one is to drop him from the team. Harsh as that may seem, it may well teach him a lesson. And if he learns that lesson, he can then once again become an asset to the team.