Resurgent West Indies: Beginning of a New Era?
“Just like the old times. Just like the old times”, the on-air commentators, David Gower and Nasser Hussain, kept saying.
The reason: Kevin Pietersen’s off stump was sent cartwheeling by a Jerome Taylor special.
The ball seemed to be headed towards KP’s pads, and the batsman was shaping to play an on-drive. But just as the ball reached the batsman, it swung viciously away to uproot his off stump.
The current captain, Andrew Strauss, looked on in dismay as the former captain trudged back to the pavilion. The score card read 12 for 3 in the eleventh over.
The dismissal pretty much summed up England’s second innings batting display in the first Test at Sabina Park.
It was a day when the English batsmen struggled not just against Taylor’s pace, but also against the newest spinner on the block—Sulieman Jamaal Benn. The batsmen simply did not know whence the next run will come.
Paul Collingwood’s dismissal best exemplified how clueless the English batsmen were against the West Indies. "Colly" was tearing down the pitch, thinking that his inside edge had gone down to fine leg, before he realised that the leg stump bail was not where it was supposed to be.
I was very happy for West Indies. There can be few better things for cricket than a resurgent West Indies. The fast bowlers, the crowds, the calypso cricket and the sheer passion that these Caribbean islands bring into the game are desperately needed for world cricket.
Can this Test victory be the end of the 15-year slump that West Indian cricket has been going through? Will this win mark the beginning of a renaissance in West Indian cricket?
Only time will tell.
I sure hope there will be many such occasions for the calypso beats to celebrate.
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