Posted by: tootingtrumpet | April 4, 2009

West Indies vs England ODI Series: Report Card


cricket3_gallery__300x400Chris Gayle – Threatened more than he delivered and, in the key moment of the series, was passive as his coach failed to interpret Duckworth-Lewis correctly. Must have been distracted by disputes with the WICB, but the Trumpet felt he had one eye on the IPL.

Lendl Simmons – As in his Test career, shows promise, but still has a long way to go before he establishes himself as an international cricketer. Can look like Viv Richards one minute and Cliff Richard the next. Will find England in Spring very challenging.

Ramnaresh Sarwan – Stepped back into the ranks of the merely very good after his great Test series. Probably needs a break from cricket – he won’t get one.

Shiv Chanderpaul – After all these years, still the key wicket. Despite being short of peak form, was comfortably his team’s top scorer at a better strike rate than KP. Possibly stung by criticism from KP about spending too much time off the field, he was electric in the outer at times.

Dwayne Bravo – All action batting, bowling or fielding, his histrionics are beginning to remind The Trumpet of Sergio Garcia. Like him, he is not quite as good as he thinks he is and, more often than not, underachieves given his talent. Just because you have energy to burn, doesn’t make it right to do so.

Kieron Pollard – Stodgy medium pace bowling perfectly suited to stodgy paceless pitches. Effective, rather than exciting, is the word. Is a place or two too high in the order at six as his foolish dismissal in the deciding match showed.

Denesh Ramdin – Classy standing up behind the stumps, but couldn’t get going with the bat. Seems to have the gloves for as long as he wants them and is likely to play a lot of cricket in the next ten years.

Darren Sammy – The very definition of a trundler with the ball and ordinary with the bat. Would make a good Lancashire League pro, but won’t be an international cricketer for much longer. Needs to be reminded of the definition of a catch.

Fidel Edwards – As wholehearted as ever, he bowled fast with great hostility and deserved more success. If he can stay fit, he may fulfil his huge potential in the next three years.

Nikita Miller – An ordinary spinner seemingly preferred to Sulieman Benn for his superior fielding – that had to be an error.

Lionel Baker – Bowled some tight spells, but once England decided to attack looked ineffective and was dropped.

Daren Powell – Must be hoping that his experience in England will get him a spot in the party – it probably won’t.

Sulieman Benn – Poor body language in the field probably cost him four of the five ODIs, as he is much the best spinner in the West Indies.

Ravi Rampaul – Looks a useful prospect again and is young enough to come again after years of injury. Still looks a little heavy, but John Dyson will sort that out.


Andrew Strauss – Continued his starburst of shots after his successful Test series. Isn’t quite as sharp in the captaincy stakes as his fanboys in the Press would have you believe. Got it right when it mattered most though.

Ravi Bop – So close to being a top player, he can almost touch it, but he’s not quite there yet. The ice in his veins is still his strongest suit, but must start to deliver consistently soon.  

KP – Ill at ease throughout the tour, understandably so. Still England’s best batsman with only half his mind on the job. On and off the field treads the narrow line between demanding accommodation and demanding indulgence.

Owais Shah – In the team instead of Ian Bell, who is seen as too mentally fragile for the Number Three slot. Lo and behold, Owais seems too mentally fragile! Will he get another chance? Probably, but has shrunk as the tour progressed.

Colly – Batted, fielded and bowled purposefully on pitches that suited his game down to the ground. Fully re-established as a must-pick in all forms of the game.

Matt Prior – A very handy middle-order bat whose keeping technique collapses under any sort of pressure from the match situation or conditions. Might find himself playing as a specialist batsman if England want an aggressive stand-up wicketkeeper.

Dimi Mascarenhas – Pitches were ideal for his disciplined medium pace allsorts with the ball; pitches were not ideal for his power-hitting. Might get found out by the very best batsmen (and there aren’t many of those) and the very best bowlers (and that’s just Johnson, Steyn, Murali and Mendis).

Stuart Broad – At 22 a lynchpin of the attack. Is learning quickly and has the confidence and aggression to keep going. Might be a star of the 2011 World Cup with Shaun Pollock the template.

Jimmy Anderson – Took wickets and fielded very well. Settling into a solid pro after his astonishing rise from club cricket to international cricket, followed by injuries, loss of action and confidence, then return to the Team England fold.

Stephen Harmison – Did he really play four matches? The scorecards say that he did.

Andrew Flintoff – The enforcer with the ball who wrapped up the series with swinging 89mph yorkers that will have caught the eyes below the brims of the baggy green caps. Can’t bat, but can certainly bowl!

Gareth Batty – Why?  



  1. Kieron Pollard, not Kieron Powell.
    Being too generous to Dimi’s medium pace, call it the ‘dibbly-dobbler’, will you? Effective though on such pitches and one days.

    What’s this ‘the very best bowlers’? ‘that’s just Johnson, Styen, Murali and Mendis’. Really, only 4? is that ODI bowlers or Test bowlers or both? You know, Bracken doesn’t play tests. So, he is not among the very best? Vettori, who ranks top among all three formats? SClark? I think you could have skipped mentioning the very best bowlers just like you skipped the very best batsmen.

  2. Caught the eyes below the baggy green because he cleaned up the Windies tail? Hehehe. Perhaps his partner in the photo might, but thats all. The false hopes are building nicely.
    England didnt actually win a full 50 over game, but the score card still reads 3-2. Theyll take it.

  3. crikfan – Thanks. I was so busy spelling Mr Pollard’s first name correctly that I forgot his surname. Now corrected.

    Re very best bowlers, I was referring to both formats. Bracken has got a lot of hammer recently, and doesn’t play Tests, Vettori’s Test form is not good and Clark has a lot to prove when returning from injury – check how his average has risen year by year.

    fred – It wasn’t the victims, it was the deliveries that got them. Old ball, 140kph+ and swinging very late. It’s a long time since we’ve seen that.

  4. Well I dont want to appear cumudgeonly , well done to Freddy and all that, but its a big step from a few good balls at the end of a series to posing a threat to a good batting line up. Even in 2005 he didnt do it all on his own, he was part of a bowling team, backed up by a strong batting team.
    I respect your analysis but I fear your patriotism is clouding your judgement.

  5. Are you kidding? Vettori’s test form is not good? Bracken hasn’t taken many wickets recently, in ODIs, where containing is also important, so he is not one of the best ODI bowlers even if he averages just 23 over 100+ matches? How many matches Mendis has played to be in your ‘the very best bowlers’? 6 tests, 34 ODIs? Mendis’s yet to play against all nations(England, Australia, SA, Nz) and his recent matches show a decline in wicket’s column. Coming back from injury, well, I might take that reason not to classify SClark as a world class test bowler. But you certainly didn’t bother to look up Vettori’s test stats. Batting or bowling, whatever, the guy has 5 five wicket hauls in last 12 test matches.

    That’s why I asked, what is the criteria for the very best bowler, again?

    Mendis is; as you say, based on few matches since his debut last year, then why not consider Vettori’s last 12 matches performance? Ok, so Vettori’s recent ODI form isn’t good, but Bracken’s 100+ match career isn’t either, how?

    It is like calling Sachin Tendulkar (and Brian Lara) as the only very best batsmen, with a criteria of 12000 minimum runs in ODI, Test, First class etc and doing good in all these formats in last 12 months or so. There are Ponting, Laxman, Dravid, Smith, Chanderpaul, MHussey, Sangakkara, Pietersen, Sarwan, Younous, Sehwag, Gayle, Kallis, Duminy, Gambhir, MYousuf, – players, who play different roles, with different styles, in different situations, bowl for team, bowl to contain sometimes, and are not noticed. Unless they bowl 90mph or 90 degree turner. Is that your criteria here along with wickets obviously?

    Just like that, there are other bowlers, which I haven’t mentioned besides Vettori, Bracken or SClark. I think players like Shakib Al Hasan(who took 32 test wickets, 27 ODI wickets against Nz, SL, Oz & SA teams recently) will never cross your mind, unless they were in Australian team…?

  6. fred – I’m not much of a patriot, but I’m an England supporter. I was excited by the deliveries, rather than their result or victims. I know that you have read my pieces here and comments at The Guardian, so I hope you will recall that I was sceptical about Mitch Johnson, until I saw that ball swing back in to the right-handers and my scepticism vanished. If Flintoff has re-discovered that full swinging ball, I give him the same praise as I have MJ.

    crikfan – Vettori is an admirable player, but an average of 29 over the last four years Test cricket says that he is very good, but no more – I was wrong to say it wasn’t good.

    My remark about the very best bowlers and batsmen was in the context of looking at Dimi’s role in the side. I want him in the side, but he isn’t really classy enough to be consistent and will be found out. I would need to do more research and consider criteria were I writing about who qualifies for the description of very best batsmen and bowlers today. All of the ones you mention have a claim.

  7. A couple of weeks ago I predicted England will win the series 3-2 and somehow even though self admitting I’m not great at predictions it came to perfection! LOL

  8. Did you mean to put up Dimi with those very best? He is an all-rounder, a one day player and 20-20 specialist more. It’s inappropriate, unjust to compare him with the very best batsmen or bowlers. He is going to look pale against Johnson, Styen, Murali, Mendis; what is the point? Johnson, though being called an all-rounder now, is an all-rounder in Test format only, which Dimi doesn’t play. Johnson is a strike bowler(not all-rounder) for Australia in ODIs.

    Dimi’s performance might be compared to the likes of Luke Wright, Collingwood, James Hopes, Yusuf Pathan, Symonds, David Hussey, Shoaib Malik, Afridi, Shane Watson, Scott Styris, Mahroof, Bravo, Kieron Pollard – who are much better at shorter formats of the game, play role of attacking lower middle order, bowl dibbly dobblers part-time 3rd or higher change.

    Do you want to say that all these all-rounders who bowl dibbly-dobblers are not classy enough, that is fast enough with averages 20 something and hence are not among the very best? They are not the very best, that is universal. Their roles are different than a strike bowler like Johnson or Styen or Muratharan.

    Had you compared Flintoff to those very best, which you should have, I am pretty sure, even the eyes below the crown wouldn’t have caught a glimpse of those swinging yorkers.

  9. crikfan – My point was that Dimi is good for 35 off 26 balls and 8-0-37-1 unless he faces the very best bowlers (who will get him out straight away) or the very best batsmen (who will take him for 8 to 10 per over). He’s wholehearted and useful, but he lacks the skills with bat or ball to be an all-rounder in the truest sense.

  10. “but he(Dimi) lacks the skills with bat or ball to be an all-rounder in the truest sense”

    The truest sense. Are you certain that Stuart Broad and Andrew Flintoff deserve the praise you have bestowed upon them in this ODI report, for the very same reason stated above, in the truest sense?

    Do you think Stuart Broad’s 36-3-214-8, at average 26.75, economy 5.94 and 11 runs at average 3.66, against a side which arguably didn’t have many great batsmen or bowlers, is a good indication of his being called the lynchpin of England ODI attack or the future star of 2011 world cup with Shaun Pollock, the all-rounder, as template? Incidentally Pollard, Collingwood, the dibbly-dobblers, had better economy rate, average, strike rate, runs. Instead their efforts to take full advantage of pitches is worded like ‘perfectly suited to stodgy paceless pitches. Effective, rather than exciting / pitches that suited his game’.

    Now, I can not verify this, as it is an allegation, that the reason behind the timely injury before India series and not playing in IPL(by stuart Broad) was the hostile Indian pitch conditions. The similar pitches on which the 2011 World Cup will be held.

    Pollard 30.2-0-159-9, avg 17.66, at 5.24 economy, 80 runs at average 20, sr rate 93, gets following remark: <>

    Dwayne Bravo’s burning energy on field is termed histrionics, but it becomes confidence & aggression, in Broad’s case? Have you observed the way Stuart Broad goes appealing for a wicket? To Matt Prior?

    Flintoff, the bowler with one 5 wickets haul, keep that aside and you have a injury prone bowler with 14-0-77-1 against the mini-windows. Now that would certainly lit up the certain eyes. A match and series winning performance that was, but there are less chances Buchanan will make it 2-2 in the first place by mistake. By the time Flintoff recovers, series will be gone.

    There is no mention of D/L, which I can understand given the fact you are supporting England.

    Why do you have to report on West Indian players at all then, if you can not do the justice to the performance of the opposition players who were supposed to lose from the start of the tour? Praise your lot, if you wish, but credit where due is only fair. Don’t get me wrong that I am trying to prove a point here, but I do not agree your views on this article.

  11. Based on my purely statistical model I had England as slight favorites with the addition of Flintoff and the opposite for West Indies without him, so it was a pleasing series for me.
    I enjoyed this article and agree with most of your views on both sides, although I admit I only saw two games of this series, along with parts of the Test series. Don’t let the haters get you down.
    I don’t understand why Benn doesn’t get to play more – he seems like the ideal one-day spinner and can bat a little as well. He bowls at pace with that steepling bounce and always seemed hard to get away in the T20’s I have seen him in. I thought he was left out due to a knee injury or something.

  12. crikfan – You are entitled to your views. A quick response.

    Broad bowled at the beginning and end of the innings – his figures should be judged in that light. At 22, but with experience, he should be a key player in 2011 by which time he should have mastered the cutters and changes of pace he is learning now. Broad is no all rounder yet, but Pollock played almost as many ODI innings from 8 or 9 as from 6 or 7 and Broad will bat at 8 or 9. Both were / are opening bowlers of course.

    Duckworth – Lewis? I noted that Dyson’s call was the key moment of the series. Other than that, it’s neutral between teams – that’s why it was introduced and accepted.

    I report on the West Indies because I choose to do so. I believe I do them justice above. Bravo’s histrionics aren’t just in appealing, it’s after almost every ball – he should forget about the cameras and get on with his game. He’d be a better player for it.

  13. Ron – That’s a coup for your stats model. What does it say about the return series (1-1, I venture) and The Ashes (1-3, I venture)?

  14. I am in no hurry. I don’t demand response. I didn’t ask for a quick response, unless that is what you want to provide at the start of your argument. I will take it anyway and move on.

    ‘He should be, he should have mastered, he is learning, is no all-rounder yet’…such words don’t define a world class player who might, should I say again, might become a Pollock or World Cup star 2 years from now, but if you wish so let it be as it is your view. Hands up in the air. But I think there is a equal 50 percent possibility(probability, if you know statistics) that he might become another Harmison in 2 years. Might. It’s a stat off course.

    Time will unfold everything in front of us. By disagreeing, I thought I could put up a good discussion, with good arguments.

    Enjoy the Sunday morning, Australia’s 103/7at the moment. More recent low score by Australia was 93 against SA,so they are saved. If you care to note.

  15. Tooting, I know you’re not a patriot in the worst sense of that word. But I still have trouble understanding your optimism for the Ashes, and it’s because of that I suggested your analysis is coloured. Not unusual amongst fans of course:)

    Flintoff bowled a good spell, including a few good balls for his hatrick. Good batsmen deal often with 140kph swingers. Not always easily, and they sometimes get out, but bowling good balls to take wickets of tail enders is not going to bother the Aus top order too much. Is Michael Clarke going to worry that Benn couldn’t handle a good ball?

    But my broader point is that Flintoff performs brilliantly about once every six months, and he certainly doesn’t have the support he used to. There’restill to many fragilities in the team for me to believe they will be strong competition in the Ashes. The Windies tour had a few positives but overall was pretty uninspiring. The wicky went backwards, Oawis didn’t really do much, Harmison is still Harmison, Anderson was OK but not great, Cook was Ok, etc.
    I also suspect there is more grief for England in store that originates, one way or another, from KP.
    Cricket makes a fool of anyone who makes predictions, but I just can’t see England having what it takes to trouble Aus consistently. If they thrash WI twice in the spring, I’ll reconsider.
    I’m not sure if fragilities is really a word, perhaps I should say frailties, but it seems to describe Eng well.

  16. Fred – Flintoff is inconsistent, but who isn’t these days? Predicting Ashes results didn’t make a fool of McGrath, it instilled a confidence allied to a supreme technique and self-belief. KP isn’t there yet, but it shows that he isn’t so far out of order.

    My optimism for a 2-2 Ashes result (I haven’t said anywhere that England will regain the Ashes) is foundered on the fragilities (I think the right word) of Aus more than the progress of England. There were some truly dreadful shots as Aus were dismissed in no time by Dale Steyn and Wayne Parnell yesterday. Steyn could run through any side, but Parnell?

    There won’t be much between the sides in English conditions.

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