Opinion: The Sorry State of West Indies Cricket
It's really disappointing to see the once mighty West Indies perform so poorly in test cricket these days. The decline actually started in the 90's when the great Viv Richards retired and since then it has been a downward spiral. Since Then, there have been sparks of Individual brilliance from Brian Lara, when he has won games on his own, but to a large extent, they have not been able to perform and deliver as a team on a whole, which shows in their results and rankings over the last 25 years.
The streaks of Individual performances also make a big difference to the games outcomes in the shorter formats especially the T20's, but not in the five-day format. Their explosive batting currently (from the likes of Gayle, Pollard, Russell, Samuels..etc) works in the T20 format when a quickfire 50 can alter the game, but they are not able to grind the opposition down in test cricket. A majority of the players have stopped playing first-class cricket altogether, which has permanently shut doors for them in test cricket.
The bowling stocks have dwindled even more ever since the retirements of Walsh/Ambrose. With the exception of one or two expressly quick bowlers(recently Shannon Gabriel/Kemar Roach), rest of the bowlers rely on medium pace which is not very effective in largely batting conditions, across the world. The quality of spinners coming through is not first class either.
The onus lies with the administrators who will need to rally with the players, inspire and motivate them and show them the test cricket is of primary importance. A largely second string team is currently performing poorly in a test series in India, wherein the Indian batsman and bowlers are creating record after record, which does not make the viewing very interesting. Competitive cricket is the need of the hour.
Maybe the 'Fire in Babylon' needs to be invoked again by all those concerned with the welfare of Windies cricket and for the benefit of world cricket as a whole. The charisma of the calpsyo needs to come back. It is the need of the hour.