When on the morning of the recently completed second Test against Australia, it was announced that Bishoo, Samuels and Gabriel were not in the final 11, why did we continue to believe that the game could be competitive? In the first Test in Dominica Bishoo got most of the wickets and Samuels most of the few runs that we made.
Remember that Chanderpaul’s Test career had been ended before the first Test. We knew that Roach was, most likely, not fully recovered from his shoulder injury, and that Jason Holder is a good medium pace bowler, but not a fast bowler.
On that team, apart from Ramdin and Taylor, all the players were inexperienced and trying to make their way in Test cricket. Ramdin, who is not batting very well as a result of his continual problem with the admittedly difficult fast inswinger, apparently thought it appropriate to publicly censure Samuels after the first Test for reckless shot-making for the second time in six months, notwithstanding on both occasions Samuels was the team’s top scorer. Given the secrecy in West Indies cricket, we probably will never know whether that reprimand had anything to do with Samuel’s absence from the final 11.
Ian Chappell was a great cricketer, but he is clearly wrong about the role of a head coach in Test cricket today. Mr Simmons must get the support staff that the team needs, reach out to all the available talent, and take charge of his team on and off the field.