January 22, 2015
Jason Holder, West Indies new skipper ahead of the World cup has really being in a baptism of fire since taking the reins. No doubt playing against South Africa (No.1 ICC ranked side) in your warm up games is a tough task. This poor chap has a lot more to contend with than just that and it’s showing.
People will be questioning the older players around him and there commitment to the team they have going to Australia.
Chris Gayle a couple of weeks ago stated how he was disappointed with selection for the World cup, he also said he felt very hurt that his two friends in Dwayne Bravo & Kieron Pollard were not travelling down under with him.
Gayle has looked a different player from the one who smashed South Africa all over the place in the T20′s earlier this month. He simply doesn’t look interested in what’s going on, being a senior player & one who can change games on it’s head, he just doesn’t look like he wants to buy into the direction the team has taken.
Another problem young Holder has is a lack of depth in his batting line up. With no senior players in the middle order any more, they have tried to plug it with bowlers who bat. The likes of Andre Russell, Darren Sammy batting in your middle order is a sign of weakness for me. Yes they can get away with it in T20 cricket where a 30 off 12 balls looks great, but when it comes to ODI’s these guys are expected to build an innings, that is at the moment a step to far for these guys.
Any bowler heading to the World Cup who looks at the West Indies batting line up would be saying if we get Gayle and Samuels early will be in a great position to win the match. How they have Denesh Ramdin at four is beyond me? He is a player who in a good club side would bat six.
In yesterday’s action West Indies lost both their openers to a great spell of bowling from Vernon Philander. He is a very underrated bowler going into this World Cup and one I would keep an eye on. He bowled brilliantly with the new ball and found some good rhythm.
Dale Steyn has been used as a first change bowler recently, it seems wherever they use him he gets wickets. He picked up two important wickets.
The main wicket taker yesterday was Imran Tahir who returned figures of 4-28 in his spell of bowling. South Africa have stuck with this fella and it seems to be paying off, although I think against quality opposition he might find it hard going.
South Africa in their reply were not hanging about as they chased the total down in 24 overs and 4 balls. Rilee Roussouw played a poor shot early on off Jason Holder to depart for 7 and he was the only wicket South Africa lost. The ever reliable Hashim Amla was joined by Faf de Plessis for a partnership of 97* to bring about the series win for The Protea’s.
Another strong performance for South Africa who look in good shape for this World Cup. The West Indies on the other hand look all at sea and will need a quick change of attitude and approach if they are to upset any big teams this time round.