Captain Nicholas Pooran suggested that West Indies’ shallow pool of players and packed match schedule is affecting their showings, as they were routed by 90 runs today in the second of a three match T20 International series against New Zealand in Sabina Park, Jamaica.
The result saw New Zealand clinch the T20 series 2-0 and the “Kiwis” would be looking for a whitewash when the two nations meet again on Sunday.
The West Indies have been swept in six of the 10 white-ball series they played in 2022, although only India whitewashed them in the T20 format—as the other crushing defeats came in the One-Day International (ODI) game.
“It is difficult, and everyone is going to say that we are losing cricket games,” said Pooran, “but we are playing cricket games every two days, and it is not that easy on the guys as well. I am happy the guys are actually fighting it out.
“It is not that easy to just come on a cricket field, show up and win in cricket every single time—especially when you don’t have a [big] pool of players. It is just 15 players and four players are injured, so I am proud of the boys.”
West Indies cricket fans might have found today’s events a bit harder to swallow. New Zealand set a daunting figure of 215/5 in their turn at the crease while, in reply, West Indies were 28/5 inside eight overs and could only stumble to 125/9 by the close.
“We just didn’t show up today,” said Pooran. “They batted us out of it and we couldn’t see our way with the bat.”
Glenn Phillip, who batted at number 4, smashed 76 runs (off 41 balls, 4×4, 6×6) to help put the Kiwis in a commanding position.
Pacer Obed McCoy took three wickets for the West Indies, but, like Odean Smith and Jason Holder, he conceded 10 runs per over. Spinner Hayden Walsh Jr’s four wicketless overs cost 55 runs.
“We didn’t bowl well—we should have pitched up a bit more,” said Pooran. “We were indisciplined. We keep chatting about the same thing over and over in meetings and whenever we come out on the cricket field, we just seem to let ourselves down.
“We were not able to execute our plans.”
With the bat, the Maroon Men were no more successful. Pooran said the idea was to try and “stay in the game”—but, again, top order wickets fell cheaply and quickly.
New Zealand’s spin pair of Mitchell Santner and Michael Bracewell took three scalps each and, remarkably, West Indies’ top score came from number 11 batsman Obed McCoy who mustered 23 runs off 15 balls (3×4, 1×6).
“It just didn’t start well for us,” said the rookie captain. “We are struggling, we were outplayed but this is life. At the moment things are not going our way. It is getting more and more difficult; but the more cricket we play, our performance will grow.”
Despite taking over the captaincy just four months ago, Pooran is already in his seventh series at the helm of the West Indies.
He steered the Maroon Men to a comprehensive ODI rout of the Netherlands (3-0) and a comfortable T20 result against Bangladesh (2-0). However, they lost 3-0 in successive ODI series to Pakistan, Bangladesh and India along with a 4-1 T20 series defeat to India—which directly preceded the current series.
Yesterday, the Cricket West Indies selection panel named the ODI squad to face New Zealand from next Wednesday, which had just two changes from their loss to India last month: as Shimron Hetmyer and Kevin Sinclair were included, while Rovman Powell was omitted.
The full West Indies ODI team comprises: Nicholas Pooran (captain), Shai Hope (vice-captain), Shamarh Brooks, Keacy Carty, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie (subject to fitness), Keemo Paul, Jayden Seales, Kevin Sinclair.
First, West Indies must chase a final T20 result against New Zealand. Pooran suggested that his players view their current dismal results as a challenge.
“This is just something we need to accept, stay in it, and fight,” he said. “We are a new group—we are going to be frustrated, we are going to be disappointed in ourselves, but it is what it is.
“We can’t come everyday and perform the way everyone wants us to perform. We can’t come and win every single game. But these are the times we have to stick together as a group.”
Toss: New Zealand
New Zealand 215/5 (20 overs) (Glenn Phillips 76, Daryl Mitchell 48, Devon Conway 42; Obed McCoy 3/40, Romario Shepherd 1/26)
West Indies 125/9 (20 overs) (Obed McCoy 23, Rovman Powell 21; Mitchell Santner 3/15, Michael Bracewell 3/15)
Result: New Zealand won by 90 runs
Series result: New Zealand lead 3-match series, 2-0
Man of the Match: Glenn Phillips
But isn’t this the plight (hectic international schedule etc) of all sportsmen/women regardless of the sport they participate in. It is just simply the nature of the beast i.e. humans insatiable need to entertained and administrators need to profit. That being said, I think it was Mikey Holding who argued that W.I. cricketers are in the top 1% of salaries earners in the Caribbean. So why not inject some professionalism/leadership and the required hardwork/dedication/consistency that necessary to succeed. As it stands right now these ingredients are severely lacking.
Someone should remind Nicholas of the dozens of times he assured us that Pollard’s “West Indies are a six-hitting team.”
And then ask him is the same is true of Pooran’s West Indies.
I want to recommend to Nicholas that he read Choy Aping’s analysis of the range of skills a cricket team needs to have a chance of success in the international white ball arena.
And then suggest to him that the captain’s big cricket brain might help to compensate for the region’s small cricket pool.