'We can’t keep rewarding mediocrity' – former WI batsman Wallace insists opener Campbell lucky to get recalled

By Sports Desk October 22, 2020

Former Windies opener Philo Wallace insists opener John Campbell should consider himself lucky as he did not merit selection for the team’s upcoming tour of New Zealand, based on his most recent performance in England.

Campbell, in truth, did indeed struggle to make a strong impression at the crease against England in July.  The left-handed batsman averaged a paltry 16.8 while tallying only 84 runs in six innings as the regional side lost the three-Test series 2-1.  Campbell was caught behind twice, while in the first innings of the final Test he was caught for 32 when attempting to negotiate a steep short delivery from Jofra Archer.  Wallace believes those struggles should have cost the batsman his spot.

“John Campbell is a very lucky man, I wish him all the best but it’s 'very best' in common letters.  He struggled in England and then came back and said why he struggled, and we are taking him for another tour of New Zealand, which is said will be tougher,” Wallace said on the Mason and Guest radio program.

Campbell was far from the only batsman that struggled in England, but Wallace believes that is a part of the broader issue and called for tougher decisions to be made when it comes to selection.

“We pick the same batsmen that struggled in England and are sending them to New Zealand, saying New Zealand is going to be a bit tougher.  How are we going to get these guys to perform?  These guys have no confidence and the selection panel is going back with the same guys tried and tested,” he added.

"There are some players that are biting at the bit to get a play and we are rewarding people with mediocre performances.  They had all the opportunities in England.  The board sent them up there a month before, they played wonderfully well in the first Test, they messed it up in the second and third and you are rewarding them for mediocrity with a tougher Test?”

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