West Indies may have scraped into the quarter-finals of the World Cup, but there can’t be much confidence that they will progress any further – even if their next opponents are unpredictable Pakistan.
Darren Sammy’s side should have beaten England and India, having fought back to get into winning positions in both matches.
We’re still scratching our heads here at the Reverse Sweep at the way West Indies handed England a World Cup lifeline – it’s not often that you see a team needing 22 runs off 52 balls losing their last four wickets for two runs.
Yesterday’s defeat against India wasn’t quite as dramatic, but it still featured another horrendous batting collapse.
At 154 for two, West Indies needed less than a run a ball off of the last 20 overs.
It should have been a routine win, but the wicket of Devon Smith precipitated a collapse that saw the last eight wickets fall for just 34 runs.
If Smith had been replaced at the crease by Shivnarine Chanderpaul, then it is likely that West Indies would have sauntered to victory.
But Chanderpaul was inexplicably left out of the side against England and India.
So now the tail effectively starts at five with Kieron Pollard.
Pollard is great against weak attacks when a few quick runs are required in the latter overs, as evidenced by the carnage he inflicted on the Irish and Dutch bowlers.
But he is probably the last batsman you want coming in against Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh when what is required is a no frills approach and plenty of ones and twos.
Chanderpaul provides this in spades; Pollard doesn’t.
Chanderpaul may not have had a great World Cup thus far, but West Indies can ill afford to leave him out.
If they get into a similarly good position against Pakistan, then it is a good bet that Chanderpaul would lead them over the winning line.
The ‘Save Shiv’ campaign starts today.
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