England WILL win in the West Indies

England WILL win in the West Indies

Post by Shag » Sat, 15 Jan 1994 01:14:03

I know that this is an outrageous prediction, but I do have reasons for it -
I'm not just an Englishman who blindly thinks his team is going to win as
people who read my articles before and during last summer's series will know.

The West Indies are very strong at home and haven't lost a home series for
21 years, but at this moment in time, they are at their most vulnerable and
a decent side can beat them. England won the first test in 1990 and should
have gone 2-0 up (rain stopped them) before they subsequently lost the
series 2-1. Since then, Australia have come close in 1991 and if South Afica
hadn't lost their last 8 wickets for 25 runs in 1992, they would have posted
a famous victory.

Captain, Richie Richardson is knackered and resting, and his pacemen are not
what they used to be. Ian Bishop is injured, Courtney Walsh is no better
than ordinary, and the two Benjamins and Cummins are hardly at the sort of
standard that we're used to from a West Indies attack. This just leaves
Curtley Ambrose to shoulder the majority of the work.

The pitches no longer favour the West Indies style and in fact, the opening
test will be played on an incredibly slow pitch at Sabina Park, Jamaica.

Even West Indian commentator Tony Cozier has said that England's chances are
better than usual due to the weariness of Richardson, the inadequacies of
the West Indies bowling attack and the unfavourable pitches.

Looking at England's squad fills me with hope because we've actually picked
a varied set of bowlers who I'm actually confident about (Malcolm, Fraser,
Salisbury, Tufnell and Watkin with Lewis, Caddick and Igglesden). The
batsmen include Smith, Atherton, Ramprakash, Hussain, Maynard, Thorpe and
Stewart with Hick hoping to make up for 1991's failures.

The major thing against England is inexperience, but with a new spirit in
the side and the disappearance of the laughable Ted Dexter, we've actually
got a team which in 3 months time we might be proud of!

So, come on England, don't let us down!


Computing Officer, LS Support Group, Social Statistics Research Unit,
The City University, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB, UK


England WILL win in the West Indies

Post by Cliff Shivchar » Sat, 15 Jan 1994 04:55:01

You started by saying "England WILL win in the West Indies" and finish with
"a team which in 3 months time we might be proud of!"
Not having second thoughts, are you? But seriously, the way things look and
if the WI selectors live up to expectations, then ANY team (including Zimbabwe)
have a realistic chance of beating the WI - on paper, IMHO.

The batting looks shaky,
the bowling revolves around a truely WORLD class performer but after him there
is little else, if the selectors stay true to form. The wicketkeeping dept.
leaves a lot to be desired. Probably the only area that looks strong is the
ground fielding. But all this is on paper. When the real test comes, it MAY
(just MAY) be a different matter. Remember the last test series in the WI? Billed
as the clash of the titans, it was a mere blowout, with matches finishing in 3 and
3 1/2 days.

The real jokers in the pack are the WI selectors. If they come to their senses
and realise that not all players are cut out for test matches - they may perform
well in the OD game but Test is another ballgame, the REAL thing - then we
could see some new faces in the WI team, as well. We could have some genuine
pace at the other end, a genuine opening pair and not some "cow-lasher"
masquerading as an opening batsman, a genuine (or a pair of) spinner(s) as
conditions determine and not some "lollipop" bowler, if I may quote Boycott.When
Holding was selected for the 75-76 tour of Australia, some called it as a BOLD
move while others critisised it - not enough 1st class experience. Well, we all
know how that turned out. I hope the selectors have the balls to pull something
like that again.

If the selectors wake up, then I don't see the Cummins nor both Benjamin playing,
W. Benjamin is OK. Walsh may not be the same bowler he was 10 yrs.ago but believe
me, he is enough for this England side.

You say "The pitches no longer favour the West Indies style and in fact, the opening
test will be played on an incredibly slow pitch at Sabina Park, Jamaica", but as
far as I know, the WI pitches have not changed character. Sabina Park has always
been slow (except against India and someone called that "an overnight miracle").
Bourda has been known as "a batsman's paradise", Antigua has always been a dead,
flat track. What will make a difference is the heat. Napolean was foiled by the
Russian winter and I think the conditions will not favour England. Probably that
is why they ship out at 8PM on the last day of the final test. So the WI have
been winning tests on these pitches for the past 20 yrs.

MY VIEW is that if anything, it is the WI selectors that will deal a blow to
WI cricket, NOT England. Anyone for firing the Board?


Cliff Shivcharan
Bell Northern Research
R & D Subsidiary of Northern Telecom
Richardson TX 75083

Any opinions expressed are mine and do NOT reflect
those of my employer.