Chance for Sammy & Co to revive Caribbean fortunes
By Sandip G / ENS | Published: 07th October 2012 10:46 AM |
In terms of their approach to the game and the way they carry themselves on the field, the 2012 T20 World Cup batch of Caribbeans resemble those carefree entertainers that preceded the Clive Lloyd era. Though Darren Sammy is no Lloyd to galvanise a set of flamboyant but disparate bunch into a world-beating side, he has been the centrifugal force behind West Indies’ resurgence.
Perhaps, few other words have done their rounds in the corridors of West Indian cricket as “revival”. And almost every time uttered with a hint of pain at the apparent mayhem and a glint of pride at what once they were. Either way, attempts at revival clanked hollow. Neither the Laras nor the Chanderpauls could instigate one.
This isn’t to suggest the West Indies are re-tracing the lost footsteps to glory, but just that they are as capable a unit as any in the shortest format.
There are batsmen capable of spasmodic belligerence, though they can’t sustain the same in longer version. There are bowlers who can tie the opposition down with their variations, but lack the guile and craft to bowl out opposition twice in a match.
Hence, while they are beaten blue in every other format, they are among the favourites for the T20 World Cup. Few would disagree. Fewer would on their balance. On any given day, they can field as many as eight batsmen and as many bowlers. Even their number 9 batsman Ravi Rampaul is a robust hitter. Marlon Samuels can be the binding force, though Chris Gayle more often than not takes the opposition by force. Most have strike rates that hover around the 150 mark. And all but wicket-keeper Dinesh Ramdin and Johnson Charles can roll their arm over.
They can choose anyone from Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy, Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell in compliance with the situation. If Lloyd ushered in the invincible dynasty banishing spinners from his squad, Sammy has at his disposal a spin firmament fit enough to feature in all-time Unorthodox XI.
Marlon Samuels is most conventional, while Gayle is the typical limited-over spinner. Sunil Narine has enough mystery in his bowling while Badree isn’t the conventional big-spinning leggie. And they are spectacularly backed by their agile fielders with digits the size of shafts to boot their speed that could out-speed all but their select Jamaican countrymen.
Most significantly, they don’t seem torn by egos.