As West Indies began a new era under the captaincy of Ramnaresh Sarwan, their performance showed great promise, as they were able to achieve a huge follow-on target and managed to draw the first test match at Lord’s against hosts, England.
In a match that was heavily affected by weather that resulted in the loss of more than a full day’s play, the batsmen showed remarkable teamwork to the extent that all, except Corey Collymore, got into double figures. An unbroken opening partnership of 89 in the second innings added more positives to the team and should set the stage for a decent series. This performance is even more meaningful knowing that the players had less than a full day’s play since their arrival in a country where conditions are unlike our warm Caribbean home.
However, one fundamental aspect of winning a test match is the fact that bowlers must be able to dismiss the opposing team twice. Our bowlers, since Walsh and Ambrose retired from international cricket, have found it difficult to do so and there lies the problem that needs to be solved. The lack of penetrative fast bowling and a genuine spinner will plague this team that is currently on tour.
Again, too many catches have being dropped by our fielders and unless that situation improves, the English batsmen will continue to take advantage of an already depleted bowling attack. One wonders also about the fitness level of our players as well because of what transpire during the innings while they are in the field.
It was heartening, however, to see all the players making a sincere effort in that first match at Lord’s. The remainder of the series should indicate whether or not things have changed for the better. At this moment, things look positive and West Indians should continue to rally around our players, as they certainly need our support.