With the hype of the T20 world cup currently in play and the conclusion of IPL2 and their epic finale one would guess that not many folk have paid the rest of the cricketing world much time.
With the likes of Pietersen, Yuvraj, Mendis and Gayle taking the shorter form of the game by storm many other issues have gone unnoticed. In particular, the recent series defeat of the West Indies by a new look England team certainly did raise a few eyebrows not just on the field with the dismal performance of the West Indies, but also off the field questioning the commitment of the West Indies Test players.
The casual and belated arrival of captain Chris Gayle 48 hours prior to the first Test, coupled with his questionable comments on his opinion of test cricket and his overall interest in the traditional form of the game certainly does bring into question his commitment to his country and to test cricket. A brilliant batsmen in his own right, Chris Gayle certainly is one of the most important links in this Windies lineup with his explosive batting and casual tweakers, he certainly cannot be left out of the eleven based on statistics. However, should he be their captain?
For years now, the WICB have searched long and far for a solution only to see their star players Chanderpaul, Sarwan and now Chris Gayle turn down interest in this prestigous role. What was once the most sought after role in the Caribbean is now being avoided like the plague.
So where to now for West Indies cricket? Once haemorrhaging talent the likes of Greenidge, Haynes, Richards and Marshall just to name a few, the board must surely be wondering where they go from here.
The young wicketkeeper batsman Dinesh Ramdin is being touted as the future leader of the side and at 24 a large responsibility looms. Over the last 12 months he has finally started to find a way in Test cricket contributing regularly to the West Indies' totals and proving a menace in the lower order by putting a high price on his wicket. Honestly, is this the right time to burden him with the captaincy? Personally the jury is still out on Ramdin not only as a cricketer, but as a leader. Does he have the respect of his team mates? Does he contribute enough to warrant the role?
It is bemusing that the young all-rounder Dwayne Bravo has not been considered. One of the most promising all round talents in the game today, he has the respect and admiration of opponents in all forms of the game. An aggressive middle order batsmen in the mould of his mentor Brian Lara, Bravo brings the 'uber-cool' flair of the Caribbean back to this team with dazzling lofts over mid-off and beach cricket flicks of his pads that of which even VVS Laxman would be in awe.
'Johnny' as he is affectionately known amongst team mates not only brings runs and fancy shades to the table, but has proven a valuable partnership breaker with his wily medium pace and a exciting leader in the field with his energy, voice and enthusiasm. Why he doesn't captain the team in all forms of cricket is beyond me, unless he of course has joined the long list of cricketers who jolt at the thought of captaining the West Indies?
The future is in Bravo's hands and hopefully the selectors utilise the full repertoire of Bravo's talent and tenacity, for all us cricket lovers out there would certainly love to see the dawn of a new competitive West Indies team not just in ODI and T20, but test cricket also. I don't know about you but for me 'Johnny' Bravo is just the ticket.
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