HomeCricketWindies Win: when a near-cliché became significant, and, heart-wrenching...

Windies Win: when a near-cliché became significant, and, heart-wrenching for fans and critics!

- Advertisement -

Two kinds of allegations are routinely made against the Windies.

First is that they don’t win in Tests.
And second that they hardly win a series.
And while these allegations aren’t unfounded- because quite like hips, numbers don’t lie- it’s remarked that they don’t win series’ either at home or overseas.
But funny it is to even allege the latter when they have hardly won of late, in the Caribbean; the quintessential land of flair and dash, albeit one drenched in the hay days of the past.
But is this allegation utterly true?

West Indies
Image source: BBC (West Indies have done the unthinkable, right?)

Maybe, it’s one thing to allege and something quite other to break free of a mirage ( possibly one that the Windies themselves have helped create thanks to their often listless, mostly abhorrent lack of consistency).
Here’s a case in point.
From the onset of the 2016 season, there have been shambolic losses for the Windies with the wins being far too few and inconsistent.
Wondering how?

In the UAE, the Windies lost a 3-match series 2-1, with Pak thrashing them

Moreover, there wasn’t much to write home about other than a solitary valiant effort of 116 by a man one’s come to (perhaps unfairly) compare with Brian Lara when one knows well that Darren Bravo’s Test numbers don’t do justice to his charm as a batsman.

- Advertisement -

Moving on, in the ’17-18 season, the Windies were invited by New Zealand.

This was nothing other than a one-way thrashing that the Kiwis were delighted to extend to a side that lost 2-0, including being handed a humiliating innings defeat. The Second Test saw the boys, minus the experienced men like Gayle, Ramdin, and co., being hammered by an inning and 240 runs.
The onslaughts dented in 2016, magnified by their 2017 form would only get amplified in a shrill, unbearable sound whence the team reached England.
Once in Joe Root-land, the historic occurrence at The Oval; Shai Hope breaking a 127-year-old record, that of scoring back-to-back hundreds, accompanied by vice-captain Kraigg Brathwaite’s defiant batting got somewhat dulled by another series loss.
This time, England became another side that welcomed Windies and roasted them, the First Test itself producing an inning and 209-run defeat for the tourists whose fans couldn’t have been blamed for sobbing.

So what happened thereafter?

West Indies
The West Indies have won the Wisden Trophy with 1 more Test to go( DNA India)

Well, what else, another plunge in fortunes?
As the 2018 cricketing season came to a close, the Windies gave India a chance to run them down with once again, with another exhibition of some gutsy batting, this time thanks to Roston Chase with Hope being hopelessly out of form doing little to help his side avoid a humiliating drubbing.
In arriving at a new venue for world cricket to pick them apart, it didn’t help that the Windies only self-highlighted their woes courtesy a shocking inning and 272-run loss as seen in the First Test. But make no mistake.
And if these Test bashings weren’t already enough, it didn’t help a Holder-less Windies who travelled to Bangladesh where another series loss, this time by an inning and 184 runs (Second Test, Dhaka) allowed Shakib’s boys to prevail.
As commentators you were bored.

As a hater of one-sided Test outcomes, you felt drained out.

West Indies
image source: the stadia in Tests have often run dry in the Windies, as it did in India, 2018 (Indian Express)

That’s not all.
Even if you were a seat in any Test stadia- and don’t forget there were quite a few even when the Windies thrashed Bangladesh at home in 2018- in that pleasantly surprising (fascinating is better, right?) innings victory at Antigua (wherein WI beat Bangladesh by an innings and 219 runs)- you were disgusted.
And just then when one would have expected Joe’s men- beaten left, right and, centre- one comprising of Anderson, Broad, Curran, Ali, with a returning Stokes along with Buttler and Bairstow- to have mauled the West Indies in the Wisden series, what did one see?
Anyhow, when was the last time you read that the West Indies won the Wisden trophy?
Fans of the system of rankings, self-titled experts on Caribbean cricket, and, above all- those who perhaps cannot outlive the idea that West Indies aren’t just a historical entity but a youthful unit that’s doing more than just survive in Tests, found to their dismay phenomenal headlines.

The Windies win: not anymore a cliche!

West Indies
Hope, Darren, Brathwaite were all among runs (HT.com)

Not anymore a figment of one’s imagination.
It’s not that Jason Holder’s troops- for in being called warriors there’s still time and would demand more consistency from them, of the kinds they showed a few hours back- hadn’t won a Test before.
As recently in June 2018 did Holder’s men embrace a 226-run win at Trinidad, as they brisked past Sri Lanka with great ease. The margin of victory interestingly bearing the uniqueness with Lara’s Adelaide double ton (2005).
Nonetheless, a month later, at Sir Viv’s home, in Antigua they’d maul Bangladesh- no other way to put it- by a grizzly margin. And not to forget that the Headingley Test win, interestingly in Queen’s England were driven by ‘Hope’ and a lot of guts Holder’s side proved to be the ‘Root’ cause of Joe’s team.
Still, what had been missing all this while had been a series triumph against a big side, one of the world’s leading teams.
Isn’t it?
And as hard-work and sheer focus would have it for luck, as they say, tends to side with those who dare, Jason Holder’s Windies would crush England to win the Wisden trophy.
This seems to be a series that may go down a long way- and hopefully should- to remind those who’ve bemoaned the Caribbean decline.
And therefore, it may not be foolish to understand that the days of West Indian slumber- a state self-imposed by poor infrastructure, heartless cricket and whatnot- seem to be over.
With Roach bowling as good as he is, with Gabriel intact as their tearaway and Chase silently effective, after a long time does it seem that the West Indies have a sorted bowling line up. Joseph, who must be credited for continuing to fight even as he lost his mother, adds potency to a what’s emerging as a threatening pace attack.

In Dowrich, the clamour for ‘bring back Ramdin’ now seems over.

West Indies
image source: The Indian Express (Dowrich and Holder have had many fine stands in the past)

And can you blame the Bajan for his amazing consistency?
But the Windies, a collective of greats like Sir Sobers, Sir Viv to Brian and Chanderpaul- would and should fundamentally bolster the tradition of batting, isn’t it?
So where’s the vacuum, one asks, as in Hetmyer there’s ‘Hope’ that formerly, the ‘West Indies‘ can ‘Chase’ down any score? Or for that matter, fend off world-class bowling with Shai in as the number 3, a hero who mustn’t fail, is there’s a scope?
And if you saw the events at Barbados- not just a cricket ground rather a fortress that protects its eleven sons, or should one say one boosted by heroism of a special kind that always comes to the fore (see the team’s record, especially from the onset of 2015)- you know that in Jason Holder there’s an able navigator of a ship that one thought was sunk, but one that could be on way to safer shores.

- Advertisement -
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

15 Highly Educated Cricketers Of All Time

Cricket is a game of passion and dedication. A sport in which one involves themselves in camps and practice since early childhood. Due to...

Do we often under-appreciate Andy Flower? What’s his legacy?

There's a hint of sadness in noting that Zimbabwe has never been a dominant power in world cricket. But nothing could be sadder than...

How Come UFC Fighters Have Cauliflower Ears But Boxers Don’t?

The UFC has come a long way since its early days, wherein the fights seemed like modern-day gladiators due to its brutality and inconsistent...

Why are more and more MotoGP riders using the Noson nasal dilator?

Introduction MotoGP riders or athletes are physically fit and healthy individuals and their muscles are continuously functioning and used during the performance. As a fan...

5 spinners who can be India’s potential finger-spinners

The Indian cricket team has always been proud of its ability to produce world-class batsmen and similarly potent spinners. Though in recent times, the...

IPL 2018: The beautiful Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Being seated in the Sawai Mansingh stadium brings a different world, a world of difference away from the palpable excitement of watching truly India’s...

The astonishing decline of Mario Balotelli

There was a time when Mario Balotelli was on top of the world.  The Italian talisman had scored two goals in the Euro 2012 semi-finals,...

Top 5 Left Wingers In The World, Based On 2019-20 Season

Owing to the fact that football has evolved a lot since its inception and the tactics have changed a lot, the role of wingers...

What can be expected from the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix?

Heat in the air and heat inside the car- that's been the story of the Azerbaijan Grand prix. As F1 parks itself at Baku...

How Suresh Raina Batted India Into The Finals of 2011 World Cup

Its been 9 years, since India won the Cricket World Cup defeating Sri Lanka on 2 April, 2011. The images and visuals of...

Big change for India Women’s cricket as BCCI looks to finalise bowling coach soon

We are not even at the halfway stage of the 2018 cricketing season. It clearly seems there's no stopping India's women's cricket team. The...

IPL 2018: The best from the West Indies

When one of nature's treacherous attacks on mankind- earthquakes- strike, their impact is measured on Richter's scale. When West Indians strike in a tournament...

Age Fraud in Indian Cricket: Are players really to be blamed?

There have been times while watching a cricket match when we tend to hear commentators comment on cricketers’ age. We as fans have many...

Southampton XI if they didn’t sell their star players

Southampton, a club located in the south coast of England, have one of the most renowned youth academies in the Premier League.  Despite producing class...

Who Is the Better Formula 1 Racer, Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton?

Despite Verstappen’s first win in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2021, a new debate has sparked on which Formula 1 racer is better? Max Verstappen...

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -