Times have really changed

The one interesting aspect of this series will be how Darren Sammy responds to his relegation as a player. After being a captain for quite a while, it will be a different kettle of fish having to perform to retain his place in the side.

The Indians started as the favourites in the tri-series that is being played in the Caribbean islands. Though the Indians have the options to adapt to different conditions, it is ironical that the spinners will be cogs in the wheel on a tour of West Indies! Of course, the Indians have banked on their spinners historically in the Caribbean islands but that was largely due to the want of genuine quick bowlers. But such is the current scenario that even the West Indies sides will depend on spinners and bowlers who can “take the pace off the ball” to restrict the opposition sides.

Times have really changed and though change is something that needs to be welcomed more often than not, none would have thought that this would happen. Be that as it may, it is important that the West Indies do well and regain some of their old glory soon enough. They won the T-20 World Cup but somehow could not make an impact in the Champions Trophy. Inconsistency seems to haunt them on a regular basis and consistency is one thing that the West Indies need to improve upon.

They have started with wins over Sri Lanka and India, the other two sides featuring in the tri-series, but it is all about completing the final stretch with efficiency. The Sri Lankans have been up and down in their cricket and it is a pity that their former cricketers are keen as mustard to advise other countries on how to run cricket instead of helping their own country.

The talented bunch from the Emerald Isle has been guilty of under-achieving in the recent past primarily due to the fact of being unable to seize the key moments in a game. They were cruising along against the West Indies in the T-20 final but they ended up on the wrong side of the equation by committing hara-kiri. That particular defeat will rankle them for some time to come, apart from giving the West Indies enough confidence in their encounters.

Though India have suffered a reverse in the first encounter against the home side, they have it in them to come back strongly and end up on the podium. The Indian team looks balanced as well as confident which is important. The youngsters have done well under difficult circumstances to emerge triumphant in England and as such they will be expected to continue their good run. It will be an interesting challenge for the Indian spin duo of Ashwin and Jadeja as they will be up against some big hitting Windies batsmen as well as some artistic players from Sri Lanka.

Despite the pitches having slowed down and providing some assistance to spinners, the one disadvantage, for the spinners, is that the grounds are small. It used to be a case of batsmen thinking hard and long on ways and means to handle the Windies pace battery in the past but of late real pace is not synonymous with the Windies. This has also resulted in their batsmen not being comfortable against the short stuff much to the surprise of their fans.

The one interesting aspect of this series will be how Darren Sammy responds to his relegation as a player. After being a captain for quite a while, it will be a different kettle of fish having to perform to retain his place in the side. He was given the mantle of captaincy to bring about calm in what used to be a tumultuous dressing room. Now the greener pastures that IPL provides has motivated a lot of individuals to perform well in international cricket which means that the captain has to be one who deserves his place in the side. Dwayne Bravo is as much under pressure as Sammy to perform which is only likely to benefit cricket in the West Indies.