THE WEST Indies’ recent 2-1 series defeats to Bangladesh, in both the 50-over and T20 formats, have been disappointing, according to ex-national and WI opening batsman Bryan Davis.
“I was very disappointed, especially after the Test matches, knowing that the limited-overs games are our forte,” said Davis, in a recent interview. “When I looked at the performance of the side, I realised that we were not a better team. Our batting was very, very poor and our bowling was very ordinary.”
In the 50-over series, the visitors won the first game by 48 runs before West Indies responded with a three-wicket win in the second match – both in Guyana. In the final ODI in St Kitts, Bangladesh registered an 18-run win to clinch the series.
And, in the T20 series, the WI won the first game in St Kitts by seven wickets, under the Duckworth/Lewis method, before Bangladesh took the next two games, in Florida, United States, by 12 runs and 19 runs (under the Duckworth/Lewis method) respectively.
Asked what stood out for him in the ODI series, Davis replied, “Nothing much.”
Shimron Hetmyer was the WI’s lone centurion, with 125 in the second ODI. “Hetmyer is one of my favourite (young) cricketers,” said Davis. “I think he’s a fine cricketer. I was happy about his performances.”
He also touched on wicket-keeper/batsman Shai Hope.
“The thing about Shai Hope is I don’t believe in picking a batsman to stand up behind the stumps,” Davis noted. “He was very bad behind the stumps. Can you explain to me or give me a reason why (Shane) Dowrich couldn’t play? Why (the selectors) feel cricketers must be compartmentalised? If you are a good batsman or a good bowler, you must be able to play in any level of cricket.”
Hope received some criticism over his strike rate during the series, which was 64.18 (only higher than Evin Lewis’ 52.5 among the specialist batsmen).
“This thing about strike-rate, that don’t hold water for me,” Davis pointed out. “I see some strike-rates for the West Indian team, all of them way over 100 and the averages (are poor).”
Lewis had a disappointing outing against Bangladesh, scoring 42 runs in the three ODIs and three in two T20s.
“He’s just in poor form,” said Davis. “As far as I’m concerned, when you’re in poor form, you need plenty practice, a lot of guidance and work in the nets.”
All-rounder Andre Russell made his international return, after missing a year due to a doping violation.
According to Davis, “Russell is an ordinary bowler and international cricket is a little too high for him there.
He’s a game-changer when it comes to his batting, but he’s not consistent. He has to bat at number seven and he can’t be one of your main five bowlers.”
The ICC Cricket World Cup will take place in May and June in England.
“You have to have at least 15 players sharp and ready to play, confident and encouraged by then,” said Davis. “I don’t know where they will get them from because I don’t see anybody around.”
Can the current Caribbean Premier League (CPL) help in terms of players staking their claims for spots on the WI limited-overs teams? Davis replied, “The CPL could give you an idea of a player who you don’t know, a newcomer.
But I can’t see the selectors looking at that to base their selections on.”