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A familiar story

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West_Indies_India_CricketTo draw a word from the parlance of Pop music, the series between the West Indies and India- might not be a thriller.

India are slated to play 5 ODIs in the Caribbean, across the touristic paradises of Trinidad, Antigua and Jamaica, ending with a single T20 encounter,.

T20s apparently are an area of strength of the Windies, who love to play with carefree abandon, against a cricketing template that best suits their game where big heaves and mighty attacking strokes often overpower disciplined bowling, regardless of variation.

The West Indies have to their name not one but two glorious World T20 titles.

But a familiar problem hounding their cricket persists, akin to a ghost haunting an 18th century English chapel. Unrelenting and unwilling to leave the tormented.

There’s still no Gayle. There’s no Pollard. And of course, Sammy, the man who was publically run down as an idiot for referencing a mindless board doesn’t find himself amidst a coterie of talents whose average age stands no more than 25.

Moreover, the Windies are to play 5 white-ball contests against a side whose batting strength boasts of formidable names of Kohli, Dhawan, Rahane, Yuvraj and Dhoni.

If their fans would’ve thought that was the worst of it, here’s perspective.

Since, the ICC World Cup 2015, the West Indies have been able to play the full quota of their 50 overs not even on 10 occasions. This is when they had opportunities to play and defeat Afghanistan, who recently left the shores of the Caribbean with a mighty impressive feat of tying the ODI series 1-1.

For all you know, if Trinidad or Antigua’s weather doesn’t play damp squib, an utter flatness is expected as far as a one-sided predicted outcome of the series goes.

You don’t need to be someone like ‘Professor’ Dean Jones to predict that from June 23 to July 9, India might just make light work of the West Indies, snatching candy from a kid’s grasp.

A side whose most experienced player is captain Jason Holder, finds in the Barbadian, a playing experience of no more than 58 ODIs.

That’s no perspective actually until you tag Holder against his Indian counterparts.

Together Dhoni and Yuvraj have played 592 limited-over matches.

In terms of statistics, while this may tantamount to comparing a mountain to a molehill, in real impact, it actually highlights, above and beyond Holder- the redundancy of West Indies’ board vis-à-vis the temerity and fierce power of its touring contemporary, the BCCI- a structure lavished by surplus funds and nourished by necessary support infrastructure.

This in itself unravels a revelation that underlines West Indies’ current woes.

Having recently undergone an elaborate re-branding exercise, wherein Caribbean cricket has now come to be known as Cricket West Indies, big announcements at a Pan-West Indies level were also made about possible dismantling of some layers of their board’s hierarchy or of realignment in order to introduce fresh thinking.

But here’s the truth.

Inarguably, the most despised personality of West Indies’ cricket board- Dave Cameron, the current head, remains unmoved and secure from his place as the sport’s governance’s highest-ranking official.

This, of course is an executive under whose governance numerable player conflicts regarding pay scale took place, including Darren Bravo coming under the hammer.

And, in addition to it, has occurred such a steady disintegration of their cricket, that the idea of Windies Cricket to be dismantled into independent islands has not only found lame involvement of fans outside a Sabina Park or Queen’s Park Oval, rather some serious ground for discussion with blokes like Sir Viv, Brian Lara and Sir Sobers not even offering resistance to this thinking.

So which West Indies will take the field in the games?

Perhaps, the West Indies, which in the heart of their heart knows that a possible whitewash at the hands of India is as real an idea as possibility as of it raining during peak monsoons.

Even though a Roston Chase- an aggregator of a whopping 400 plus runs in the recent Tests versus the winners of Champions Trophy is there in the ODI side- the West Indies have in openers, Evin Lewis and Kieron Powell- who, despite many recent opportunities versus England and Pakistan have failed to get going.

That Shai Hope, the promising wicket-keeping Barbadian is there in the side and someone who’s coming at the back of a match-winning knock against Afghanistan, will it be enough for Holder’s playing eleven to halt Kohli’s attack?

Perhaps not, right?

Or perhaps that what seems certain is that the West Indies that’s slated to face India is one that, regardless of its unquestionable fierce batting talent in Chase, Hope, Lewis also has age, but also the risk of breathing on ventilator.

Having failed to beat Afghanistan in the recently concluded ODIs with its experienced seniors- Gayle, Bravo and, Sammy- still watching or perhaps not even following the game from the sidelines, for utter lack of respect accorded to them, another concern staring Windies right now is why someone like a Samuels and Carlos Brathwaite not included in the series?

Will Dave Cameron answer? Rather, is someone overseeing Dave Cameron make him speak please?

 

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