HomeCricketWill the real Marlon Samuels stand up?

Will the real Marlon Samuels stand up?

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They say, few things matter as much as experience in Cricket. It pays richly when one applies himself; it stings like a scorpion when one doesn’t. You don’t need to go that far to understand this if you are a West Indies fan and been following Marlon Samuels’ outings with the bat.
Just that the strangeness surrounding all that experience can do can underwhelm you when you realize Marlon Samuels in the current team’s most experienced man.
Hope and Hetmyer have each struck a hundred and a mighty knock in the 90s. Even Ashley Nurse has hung around for a fierce 40.

Shouldn’t Marlon Samuels have done a lot more?

Samuels has lacked consistency throughout his career (Image: The Indian Express)

So far, he’s only faced 52 deliveries. From four ODIs, he’s managed the highest score of 18 and somehow found a way to get out for a duck. That it came in his 200th ODI appearance- a big landmark for any cricketer- only bears a similarity to Samuels’ aggregations this series, the figure of a zero standing out.
If you were someone who found a thrill in the way Hope- 163 ODIs less than Samuels- and Hetmyer- 187 ODIs less than the right-hander have batted- then you would be in a state of disbelief.
A die-hard cannot pardon him for being responsible for running out Kieran Powell, who could only manage 4 of 12 in an ODI which was far better off as being extinguished from one’s mind.
So far whatever Samuels has done (rather not done) would make you anoint that man a damn fine lier who suggested the key lies in experience.

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But is that so?

Samuels has struggled to score runs in the ongoing series (Image: stuff.co.nz)

Is a failure in 4 back-to-back matches too big to judge a player like Marlon Samuels?
Maybe the current sentiment is only more reflective of the fans’ plight because Samuels is who he is; a man who often stands up when the team needs him to, a man who likes to break into an exhibition of attacking strokes upon having held on to an end.
Long before his struggles against Indian bowlers as
currently became apparent, he was once a man who struck crucial hundreds against the same team. Even before the likes of Hope and Hetmyer had learned how to take guard, Samuels was the man-in-charge at a time where old-guards like Lara and Chanderpaul were aging and on their way out.
In 2002, Samuels remained not out in his 108 and showed India that West Indians, despite their evident decline, weren’t going to grovel in front of the sub-continental greats.

A complicated enigma of sorts, is he?

When he is in form, there is no one better than him (Image: Khelnama)

But that this Rubik’s cube of a batsman- someone who was a potential great yet leaves a lot to be desired, someone who given his experience, should’ve captained the side yet ended up playing under multiple captains with a third of his overall experience- speaks of the dichotomy surrounding Samuels.
He’s the one man who’s been at the forefront of some historical achievements claimed by his side and has also played his part in ruining some epochal moments.
The way Marlon Samuels didn’t come under pressure in front of Malinga’s rising assault of his team, ICC World T 20, 2012 and plundered arguably his greatest T20 inning resulting in that fine win speaks of his destructive powers. It highlights that when needed, Samuels can play the lonely soldier.
But that he was the man who called out Lara for a single but then refused in the Trinidadian’s final curtain-call makes the fan take half of his batting dexterity out of the equation, replacing it with a sobriquet that perhaps reads well as a ‘Loose wheel nut.’
That he’s celebrated as the icon back in the Caribbean could well have something to do with the fact that with his team often in disarray, a common cricketing occupation, Samuels has turned out to change the fortunes as seen earlier this year in the World Cup qualifiers.
Where would’ve Windies been had Samuels, as seen in his belligerent attack against Cremer’s Zimbabwe wouldn’t have fired that ferocious fifty?
But that Samuels is also hailed as the ‘Iceman’ would much rather seem worthy of a discussion, given often his nonchalance fails to veil the laziness that appears pronounced through scenarios like lack of foot-work or spineless shot-selection.

Where’s the fighter in him?

Marlon Samuels definitely can deliver but the question is ‘will he’ ? (Image: India.com)

Was there a need to go after Khaleel with the team tottering at the other end? Has he been able to disturb Kuldeep Yadav, so far?
That Samuels has dislodged biggies of their time- Warne, Kumble, McGrath, Klusener, Kallis, Razzaq among the many- speaks of what he’s managed and that he can’t even read Chahal, not the biggest turner of the ball speaks just what’s lagging in his game.
He’s got an example to provide; back up his earnest appreciation of Hope by possibly building an inning alongside his teammate, he’s got to inspire Hetmyer.
The question isn’t whether Marlon Samuels can; but rather whether he will. The best time to do that is now.

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Dev Tyagi
Dev Tyagi
Dravid believer, admirer of - the square drive, Drew Barrymore, Germany, Finland, Electric Mobility, simplicity and the power of the written word! Absolutely admire contributing to KyroSports

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