Leon Johnson should be captaining the West Indies

Dear Editor,

After watching the first Test between West Indies and New Zealand where the West Indies was rolled over by an innings and 67 runs by New Zealand ‒ this might sound controversial ‒ I am convinced that Jason Holder is a poor captain and should be relieved of the captaincy. In fact I will go so far as to say as the man does not know how to captain and that is the reason the West Indies is not winning more matches or even a series.

Yes, the West Indies was bounced out for 130 odd runs in the first innings by short-pitch bowling on a wicket that was helping the fast bowlers, yet when New Zealand went in to bat Jason Holder set a defensive field with no forward short leg, no short backward square, no leg slip and no leg gully. He did not instruct his bowlers to do the same to New Zealand by bowling short pitch and back of the length and set an attacking field, and as we all know the rest is history. New Zealand piled up over 500 odd runs and there was no way West Indies could have come back in the Test match. Even when the tail was batting it was the same thing, so much so that last man Trent Boult put on an unbroken 78 run partnership with wicketkeeper Blundell, of which Boult’s contribution was 18 n.o. Imagine, we can’t out Boult who is a known rabbit with the bat.

Editor, this has been the trend in all the Test series since Jason Holder has been appointed captain, even against weaker teams. He is not a proactive captain, he does not seize the crucial moments of a Test match, he allows things to drift for a long passage of play, he does not know how to set a field for his bowlers (different bowler, different field placement) and he is too passive and not aggressive enough. All he has to do is look at how aggressive the Australians are in the field from captain to bowlers. Most teams now bounce out the tail of opposing teams, but not so with Holder and the West Indies. Oh, I yearn for the days of Holding, Roberts, Garner, Croft and Marshall. Not that we do not have quality pacers. In Gabriel, Roach and Alzarri Joseph we have people who can bowl fast and be hostile, but they need to have a good captain who understands the game and leads by example.

Editor, I might be accused of being insular, but the person who should be captaining the West Indies Test team is our own Leon Johnson. He is recognized throughout the Caribbean by cricketing pundits as the best captain in Regional cricket. No wonder Guyana has won the Regional four day tournament for three consecutive years and will win it again this year. People might want to say that his stats are average, but I will tell those people to remember Clive Lloyd. I do hope Courtney Browne and our own Travis Dowlin read this missive and do the right thing for the future of West Indies. We, the main stakeholders of West Indies cricket, the fans, have been suffering too long and deserve no less. Time for West Indies cricket to rise.

Yours faithfully,

Imtiaz Baccus

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