Legendary West Indian batsman Desmond Haynes has said that players should aim to be multi-format cricketers rather than being restricted to a single one.
The former opener took over from Roger Harper as West Indies’ chief selector last month and their current tour to India was his first squad. He has inked a two-year deal that will take him till 2024, meaning that he will be in charge of picking two T20 World Cup squads and 1 ODI WC one for the men from the Caribbean.
Haynes made his observation in an interview with Betway, and added that a good player had the capability of featuring in any format of the game. He also said that while the ultimate decision laid with the players themselves given workload issues, India and New Zealand had shown that good test cricketers could play in all three formats.
India have the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah featuring in virtually all three formats, with the players showing their versatility and ability to adjust. The last few years have been pretty successful for the Men in Blue across all formats, although they will be hurt by the lack of silverware to show for their efforts.
Haynes has his work cut out though- the Windies went down 3-0 to India in the recently concluded ODI series in the first part of their tour. Their bowlers were decent, but the batsmen were poor, just as they had been against Ireland.
The 65-year-old had included the likes of Brandon King and Darren Bravo in an attempt to strengthen the batting, but both players failed to make an impact against India. King made scores of 13, 18 and 14 respectively while veteran Bravo only managed 38 runs across three innings against Rahul Dravid’s men.
The Windies failed to cross 200 in each of their three ODI’s against India, thus highlighting the enormity of the problem in front of Haynes. They made 176 in the series opener, 193 in the second and folded for 169 in the third and final game. Things would’ve been even worse if their lower order hadn’t contributed- in all three games, they lost half their side before reaching 80.
That the Windies have talent is not in question- their players fetched big bucks at the recent IPL auction, with the likes of Odean Smith, Romario Shepherd and Rovman Powell all going for huge sums of money. But that talent needs to be channelized and harnessed properly in order for them to produce better results, especially in the 50 over and the test formats, and that will be Haynes’ aim as selector.