THE EDITOR: I am a huge student of the game of cricket and read every book on its history and all aspects of the game at the Public Library in the 60s. I also played at almost every ground in the country in those days and went for trials at the Queen’s Park Oval, facing Jaswick Taylor and Oliver Demming).
I am therefore flabbergasted time and again by the absence of good captaincy which must be playing a role in some of the matches the West Indies has been losing.
In the tied Brisbane Test of 1963, with one ball to go, one wicket to take, one run to make, Sir Frank Worrell stopped Wes Hall in his tracks and said, “Wes, if it is the last thing you do, please make sure you do not bowl a no ball.” We know the rest.
Fast forward to Wednesday in England and the third ODI. The rain is coming (probably with four overs) and the West Indies are ahead by 40 plus runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method. Azari Joseph is terrorising the batsmen, having taken all five wickets to have fallen. But captain Jason Holder makes a boo-boo.
He sends Ashley Nurse to bowl against two of the most brutal batsmen in the game today, Moeen Ali and Jos Butcher. Nurse gets butchered.
The choice of spin at that time, especially on a wicket where the ball is playing straight and coming on nicely to the bat and where all the batsman has to do is get to the pitch and swing the bat, is probably the biggest captaincy faux pas I have ever seen. No wonder we lost, even after posting a huge 356 total.
I have nothing against Holder. He is a good cricketer and is trying his best, even though his bowling is straight most of the time — hardly any swing. His captaincy, however, leaves a lot to be desired. And I am not sure captains can be trained.
PETER S MORALLES via e-mail