Krishmar Santokie must be wondering what must I do to get selected to play a T20I for the West Indies. It probably was taken for granted that he would have made his debut against Pakistan, so when the team was announced his name was nowhere to be seen. Although the game was won against the best efforts of Ravi Rampaul to loose it, the selection of the final eleven could have been better.
Ashley Nurse who was selected as the second spinner or some might say slow blower since there is not much spin involved, should have made way for Santokie. Santokie was the leading bowler in the Caribbean T20 and have and overall T20 record of 13 games, 26 wickets, 9.57 average, 5.61 economy rate, 10.2 strike rate. While Nurse's record after 11 games is 16 wickets, 15.37 average, 6.77 economy rate, 13.6 strike rate.
Clearly Santokie has the better bowling record, maybe it was Nurse's slightly better batting record that gave him the edge for this game. Only the selectors can answer this, but wouldn't it be better to have someone who is excellent at one aspect of the game (fielding not included since all players should be good fielders) as opposed to a player who is decent in all aspects. In addition there seems to be no rewarding bowlers for performing well in the domestic competition.
The game itself was good to look at in most parts, Andre Fletcher has again failed at the international level and he must learn that he could use his bat to hit the ball and not his pads, doing this may improve his statistics from an average of 10.61 and strike rate of 91.39. There was good batting by Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo who carried the West Indies from 2 for 1 to 101 for 2, Simmons played like a man with a point to prove and showed everyone that it was a mistake not to take him to the CWC, he showed great skill against both spin and pace.
Bravo's knock was a good one, but again he got out with a big score in sight by poor shot selection. If the shot had gone for six it would have been hailed as a great shot, but the fact is it didn't and it caused a promising innings to come to a premature end. This is an aspect of his game that Desmond Haynes will no doubt be looking into.
Marlon Samuels had a match to forget, from struggling to put the ball into the gaps to almost dropping Umar Akmal. That being said it was good to see him back in West Indies colours and undoubtedly he will shine in the ODI's and test matches.
Take nothing away from this team, this was a good win given all that went on off the field of play that could have distracted the players. In the weeks to come there may be more disclosures about the Chris Gayle saga and the dropping of Chanderpaul and Sarwan. Given the importance of West Indies cricket to the region, the minutes of all selection meeting should be made public. This would go a long way into eliminating the I say, they say banter.
Saturday brings a whole new challenge too this team, one that they should make the best off and shock the cricketing world. To the WICB, stop being so secretive and make everything public. Good luck guys and may you have a great game this Gloria Saturday