So the West Indies have arrived in blighty. Well some of them! Visa problems meaning that they only had eleven fit players available for their opening tour match against Sussex.
|Sammy and what could be his saviour this summer - Rain!|
Nobody fears the West Indies anymore. Very few take them seriously. Two wins in their last thirty tests, one being against Bangladesh and the other in Guyana against Pakistan, on a bunsen in the first test before the tourists had time to settle in.
The main concern is the inexperience of their batting line up. No Gayle. No Sarwan. The top order is held together with the barnacle that is Shiv Chanderpaul. Without the stubborn Guyanese left hander they are lacking in not only experience but class too.
Gayle, Pollard, Bravo and Russell are all preferring the glitz and glamour of the IPL while Sarwan is looking very much a Division 2 batsman with Leicestershire. Otis Gibson is left having to pick from a poorly structured first class system.
A young batting line up facing the number one side in the world, away from home in conditions alien to them with the ball swinging like a Max Moseley night out.
There is a glimmer of hope however...
The Windies have a bowling attack. A pretty good bowling attack. They may lack the pace and height of Ambrose and Walsh but in Kemar Roach they have raw pace.
|Roach - A familiar sight this summer?|
Roach is quick. Edwards is quick. Although he does spray it. With these two backed with skipper Sammy and the impressive spinner Shane Shillingford (what is it with 6ft plus spinners in the Caribbean?) they have got the ability to bowl teams out. Maybe not twice but they have something to worry Strauss & co.
Sammy, the man who, with the beaming smile, will bear the brunt of their fortunes is in some ways what is wrong with West Indies cricket right now. He is not good enough to bat at 6. He is not quick enough to play as the 3rd seamer. He is keeping players out of the side that are better than him. Scyld Berry hit the nail on the head with...
"He (Sammy) has stopped them getting worse and he stops them getting better."So the Windies are here. May 17th, Strauss wins the toss and sticks them in on a wet one at Lord's. Anderson takes the hooping new ball...