Why does the WI seem to lose when the Duckworth-Lewis rule is invoked?

Dear Editor,

Why does it seem that the West Indies loses whenever the Duckworth-Lewis rule is invoked?  Maybe it just seems so, or maybe it is a consequence of conspiracies. The most likely explanation, though, is lack of game awareness. Since they suffered a similar but worse fate several years ago when there was a head coach, I will not use the absence of such a coach as a likely explanation, but I would not rule it out completely because the ugliest such mishap some years ago against England with a head coach in place was caused by an error in calculation, and as is quite obvious from recent history head coaching is not a priority of the WICB.

Game awareness, however, has little to do with physical fitness or technique; it is almost entirely a mental phenomenon. I remember when I heard the first broadcaster`s comment about the par score required. It may have been around the thirteenth or fourteenth over and the information was that eighty-five runs were needed without another loss of wicket by the end of the twentieth over. I do not recall what the exact score was, but I am certain it did not require risk-taking on even a substantial scale to attempt that goal. I had the sense that the batsmen were either not aware of, or were incapable of increasing their risk-taking. They had to score at a rate of about six or slightly above per over. A few full tosses or other bad balls were tapped for singles. Not until Holder came in did it appear that Duckworth Lewis had engaged the minds of the batsmen.

The kind of results the team has had in Zimbabwe take a heavy toll on players. It erodes confidence in a major way. It is not as if nothing can be done about the problem, but it is necessary to identify the problem before tackling it head on. As long as the discussion is limited to issues like too little practice or not running enough laps, WI could be in for a long winter.


Yours faithfully,

Romain Pitt

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