After a WI victory in the second of the three T 20s against Pakistan, broadcaster Bishop reminded listeners that the hosts tend not to repeat victories. They lost the third. They came from behind to win the first ODI in a blaze of high-class hitting, and then lost the second in a batting collapse of their top order. Bishop is a bright man. He must suspect that there likely is a reason or reasons other than pure ability, for the phenomenon he has identified. Bish is too careful to speculate. Management, though, ought to be curious and try to remedy the malady. As someone who is sensitive, but with no background in psychology, my thinking is that victories, especially those that are huge or come as a surprise, are likely to create in the players what might be loosely described as an excessive ‘high’, from which specialised help might be required to climb down. Whatever, it just seems clear that it is something that deserves much more attention than simply encouraging the players to do better. It seems to me that players like Powell and Carter and perhaps Hope need help in relaxation techniques, and Lewis will perform better with assistance in concentrating.
While management considers this important mental issue it seems to me it would be appropriate for them to examine more carefully the rule that appears to prohibit coaches from being very involved once the game is underway. I believe it would have been most unlikely that Pakistan would have scored as many runs, considering what the score was after about 40 overs, if the coach were actively involved. That Jonathan Carter bowled the last over is the item that stands out most in that context, but there were certainly other issues. This coaching matter is not a West Indian issue, it is a cricket issue, and needs to be addressed if cricket is to be fully professionalised.