West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards has described the current crop of Test batsmen as timid following the recently concluded debacle in New Zealand where the team lost by an innings in each of the two Tests.
For two decades, Sir Vivian, one of the greatest batsmen of all time, destroyed bowling attacks across the globe, plundering 8540 runs in 121 Tests. The nature of his dominance was such that he once held the world record for the fastest-ever Test century, getting to the hallowed milestone from just 56 balls. It is against this background that that his criticism of the current crop of West Indies batsmen is seen as being telling.
During the recent tour of New Zealand, the West Indies batsmen were harried and bullied by the pace and bounce of Trent Boult, Neil Wagner, Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee, who between them took 38 wickets.
In the first Test at Hamilton, New Zealand, batting first on a green wicket, made 519 for 7 declared with Captain Kane Williamson getting 251 runs. In reply, the West Indies could only manage 138 and following on, 247, losing by an innings and 134 runs.
It was a similar situation in the second Test at Wellington where after New Zealand made 460 all out reduced the West Indies to 131, and following on, 317, losing by an innings and 12 runs.
Of note, is that no West Indies batsman in four innings cumulatively managed to score more runs than Williamson’s score in the first Test. Jermaine Blackwood, who scored a century and a half century over the two Tests came closest with 216 runs.
Richards, in a recent interview with the Antigua Observer, said the West Indies batsmen were not able to withstand the hostility of the home team’s bowlers.
“We are struggling to play the short ball, and we look like the individuals we used to deal with. We are looking very timid and West Indians over the years have always been part of that destructive force when it comes to playing fast bowling,” said Sir Vivian.
“There are certain improvements in the team but we are seeing it in bits and pieces and we are not seeing those pieces being out together, we are not seeing that.”
Richards said it was becoming hard to watch the West Indies play under the current state of affairs. (Sportsmax)