AFTER the World Cup catastrophe, the pending resignation of coach Simmons gave a ray of hope that things will begin to change. But with its selection of the test squad to play in Australia, Cricket West Indies has made it clear that it gives only lip service to change and Simmons was made the fall guy. So what could have been different?
For starters, why is Gudakesh Motie not in the squad to Australia? What more does this young man have to do to get selected? Given that there are no specialist spinners in the squad, one cannot argue that someone else was chosen. And Motie’s inclusion would have provided scope for him to further hone his skills.
Why is Devon Thomas still in the team? Thomas has an ODI average of 14 and a T20I average of 8.50. Surely, there are keepers around the West Indies with far better batting track records, who are just as good or perhaps even better keepers than Thomas. Like Pooran, Thomas has never played tests, but Pooran’s ODI average is 36.16 and T20I is 25.48. While Pooran has not lived up to his reputation, surely no one thinks Thomas is a better batter? Wouldn’t this have been the ideal opportunity to draft Pooran into the test squad? Or, if CWI has decided that Pooran will play only white ball cricket, then what about Shane Dowrich? Although he has not lived up to his potential either, his stats are still among the best in West Indies test cricket. And he’s as good a “keeper” and far better batter than Thomas.
Obed McCoy has garnered attention as an up and coming pacer. His T20I stats are comparable to many leading pacers and he’s played two ODIs thus far, taking four wickets. Would this not have been an opportune moment to include him at the test level? Surely, he should have been selected in front of Phillips? Or has CWI already pigeonholed McCoy as a white ball cricketer?
And why is Raymon Reifer in the squad? Reifer has proven beyond any doubt that he’s not a test player. With Holder and Mayers holding down all-rounders’ positions, surely Hetmyer should have been in place of Reifer? Or is Hetmyer’s omission CWI’s revenge for the young man not being able to go to the World Cup? Hetmyer and Pooran could have added potential to a batting lineup that is somewhat weak