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Sunny days


Cut back to the 1970s and 1980s, what you will be able to visualize is the sight of the menacing West Indies fast bowlers, the entertaining West Indies batsmen and typical Caribbean calypso cricket. Fast forward to 2011, you can only see the ruins of them. What went wrong?? As Brian Lara admitted recently there is no dearth of talent in the Caribbean, it is just that it is not being harnessed properly. Players who play for the national team do that with their natural talent, but not with grooming. That is the difference between the other county players and West Indies. 
First, a technical committee needs to be established and extensive coaching and grooming needs to be done at the grass root level. An example can be the NCA in India. Players whose techniques are exposed at the international level, get back to the NCA, get their skills honed and come back stronger. A case in point is Irfan Pathan. First step towards their reclaiming their past glory is to strengthen the players at grass root level.
Secondly, the players should cultivate the habit of winning and develop a killer instinct. Current set of West Indies players are high on talent, low on mindset. Clearly leadership roles are not defined. For e.g.: Zaheer Khan of India provides this fast bowling leadership and he takes on the mantle of field placements and suggesting what lines to bowl to the bowlers. This takes the pressure off the regular captain like Dhoni. Current West Indies cricketers are too laidback to assume leadership roles. Senior Players like Dwayne Bravo, Samuels, Rampaul and Gayle (If he plays) should take up these roles. If there occurs a crisis during a match, they should put their hand up and respond.
Thirdly there should be a cordial relationship between the West Indies Cricket board and the players. The frequent ego clashes and the payment disputes would mean nothing good for the cricket in the Caribbean. The board should realize that they are not bigger than the players at any stage. The BCCI can voice its opinion strongly nowadays because the current crop of players keeps winning often and they are one of the best teams in the world. The board should come down a bit, understand the player's requirements and support them. By keeping Gayle out of action, it is the WI team that is suffering. 
Finally, the team selection. I see no point in Darren Sammy captaining the team, just because he is a committed cricketer. Unless he is contributing, he is of no use to the team, which is true on his current form. On any day Andre Russel is better than his captain. If Dwayne Bravo returns after injury, it would be unfair to drop Andre Russel for Sammy because Pollard and Bravo would become automatic selections. My point is once Bravo returns Sammy should be dropped (unless he performs) and Dwayne Bravo should be made the captain. And the board should sort out their differences with Gayle and make him return as early as possible. They should take the current Pakistan team as an example of maintaining their composure, despite external problems.
My ideal team would be Gayle, Simmmons, Samuels, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo (c), Pollard, Adrian Barath or Andre Russel, Ramdin (wk), Rampaul, Roach, Narine
This team , (if it plays) to its potential can make WI team a formidable force.

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