Ex-team manager Khan: No sign of improvement from Windies Test team

Sri Lankan bowler Ramesh Mendis, second left, celebrates the wicket of West Indies batsman Kyle Mayers, left, with teammates during the fifth day of the second Test in Galle, Sri Lanka, on Friday. (AP Photo) -
Sri Lankan bowler Ramesh Mendis, second left, celebrates the wicket of West Indies batsman Kyle Mayers, left, with teammates during the fifth day of the second Test in Galle, Sri Lanka, on Friday. (AP Photo) -

FORMER Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies cricket team manager Omar Khan expressed his disappointment in the display of the Test side during the recent tour of Sri Lanka, but is looking ahead, with anticipation, to the limited-overs series in Pakistan.

The West Indies and Sri Lanka featured in two Test matches at the Galle International Stadium, Galle, and the hosts triumphed in both games, by 187 runs and 164 runs respectively.

“We continue to be living in hope, and hoping that the West Indies team will continue to improve, but there is no sign of improvement,” said Khan, in an interview on Monday. “What was most disappointing is the lack of strategy, the lack of determination and fight.

“We know we’re going into Test cricket, we’re talking about the mental attitude and the strength of the guys, but you’re not seeing any indication that they are up to it, that the players are up to the level that is required to perform at Test cricket,” continued Khan. “We got bowled (out) three times for under 200, which just shows a lack of application.” Khan also touched on the technical and management staff involved with the West Indies team.

“What I think West Indies cricket needs is to get the right people around these young players, who would guide them to that level of professionalism (and) what is required to perform at that (stage). We don’t have (anybody) there guiding, helping, motivating and inspiring them to get to that level of performance, and to understand what it means to represent your country.” Asked if he was referring to the management staff or the inclusion of a psychologist, Khan replied, “The overall management staff.” He continued, “You need people with that kind of skills. We talk about appointing former West Indies players, but appointing (them) doesn’t mean that they would be able to get through to the players.

“You need people who can understand how the players think, and then communicate to them in a particular way, who can understand or who can get the message to them, so they could buy in to what is required to perform. It’s a different time. They need to use different strategies, methods, ideas, (ways) of doing things.”

Nkrumah Bonner was the leading run-scorer for the West Indies with 148 at an average of 49.0 while left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul took eight wickets in his lone Test (the second and final Test).

Khan said, “We need wicket-taking bowlers. I don’t understand why Jayden Seales did not play in (any) of the matches. When we played Pakistan in the last home series, he was our leading fast bowler.

“I don’t understand the selection thinking. Permaul has been the leading wicket-taker in regional four-day cricket for the last six years and, yet still, we have never played him in a Test match until now, which is very puzzling. We need to get the selection right. We need to get the players who we know would go out there and give us 150 per cent.” The West Indies will play three T20 Internationals and three One Day Internationals, at the National Stadium in Karachi, from December 13-22.

Regular ‘white-ball’ captain Kieron Pollard will miss the tour due to a hamstring injury. Nicholas Pooran will lead the T20 team, with Shai Hope as his deputy, while Hope will be the ODI captain, with Pooran as the vice-captain.

“I think Pooran is being groomed for a leadership position,” said Khan. “He has been vice-captain for a while now, of the West Indies T20 team. It’s just a matter of him taking responsibility and showing that he can lead the team. He did it against Australia (earlier this year). It’s a good opportunity for him.”

“I’m not too sure about Hope’s leadership abilities,” continued Khan, who is also the manager of the Guyana Amazon Warriors. “We all know about Hope’s talents. He has the ability to bat, but he hasn’t been consistent enough. He was disappointing in the Test matches but we hope that he can perform in the T20s. In the ODIs, he has been doing well for the West Indies, he has been the leading run-scorer over the (last two to three) years.

“We need to start identifying young players who we could groom into leadership positions, who we know can take responsibility and inspire, and motivate the young players, and be leaders. A leader needs to get his players to back him and support him 150 per cent.”

The WI selection panel picked a few inexperienced players, as far as international limited-overs cricket is concerned, including Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Shamarh Brooks, Kyle Mayers, Justin Greaves, Anderson Phillip, Gudakesh Motie and Dominic Drakes.

Khan pointed out, “There is no question about the talent. They have to showcase that they are ready to step up to the international level and perform if they can show the correct attitude, work ethic and intelligence, and be smart in their game-play.

“It’s good to see the younger players get the opportunity,” he added. “I would have liked to see Sherfane Rutherford in the T20 mix too.”


"Ex-team manager Khan: No sign of improvement from Windies Test team"

More in this section