Zone Blitz: Did West Indies get it right in squad selection for the T20s?

By George Davis, Mariah Ramharack& Lance Whittaker July 23, 2019

By all accounts, the Windies selection panel got things right in their T20 squad selection ahead of the India tour.

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  • Opinion: Why I don’t miss sports Opinion: Why I don’t miss sports

    The world of sport has ground to a halt thanks to the coronavirus pandemic that been holding the world hostage for the past few weeks. Some of my favourites – the English Premier League, tennis, track and field – have all been hamstrung.

    My Liverpool faces the real possibility that their record-breaking Premier League season could be wiped from the record books and I will not get to see Shelly-Ann go for a record third Olympic 100m gold until next year, yet, somehow, I am not as perturbed as I expected to be.

    Sports have been a part of my life from as far back as I can remember.  Ever since my days in prep school, I looked forward to listening to the sports news on radio and later on catching sports programmes like ‘ABC Wide World of Sports’ on television -“the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” rang truer for me than most.

    I represented my high school at track and field, cricket, football, table tennis and badminton and I faced the agony of defeat more than I did the thrill of victory. Through it all, my love for sport has grown rather than diminished.

    I cried when Donald Quarrie lost the 100m finals in Montreal in ’76 and cheered when he won the 200m. That was my first year in high school when I played book cricket and lined Quarrie up against Houston McTear, Steve Williams, Silvio Leonard, and Hasely Crawford in the 100m in book track.

    Meanwhile, Kevin Keegan, Steve Heighway, Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush were my football heroes, alongside Pele, of course.

    West Indies cricket also became a big part of my life during those early high-school years and I became addicted. When the West Indies were not playing, no matter what else was going on, it was never enough to sate my desire to hear Tony Cozier and Henry Blofeld describe the majesty of Richards, Haynes, Greenidge and company and the carnage wrought by the likes of Holding, Roberts, Croft, Garner and Marshall.

    Sports consumed my life more than anything else and looking back, I wonder why I even attended CAST to study Chemical Technology when sports was all I cared about.

    Long story short, sports was my life and sometimes that can be a bad thing.

    There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

    For the past decade or so, sports consumed my life more than usual. Research, watching events, analysing performances, television appearances, radio interviews across the region took their toll.

    The thing about these things is that you don’t even realise what is happening until something like this pandemic comes along. Suddenly when all the sports stop, you realise the relief.

    That is why I don’t miss sports.

    I have been using the opportunity to play catch up with other parts of my life like bonding with my boys, reading books that I started but have been unable to finish and taking a break from live sports until they finally start again.

    In time, I will miss sports but for now, I’m good.

  • Windies should stamp T20 authority - Dwayne Bravo Windies should stamp T20 authority - Dwayne Bravo

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  • Garry Sobers: The greatest all-rounder of all-time? Here's what the numbers say Garry Sobers: The greatest all-rounder of all-time? Here's what the numbers say

    Garry Sobers is regarded as the greatest all-rounder in the history of cricket.

    The West Indies legend burst onto the Test scene at just 17, setting the stage for a remarkable career.

    His debut for his country came on March 30 back in 1954.

    On the 66th anniversary of that occasion, we use Opta data to see just how Sobers stacks up against his fellow all-rounders.

    A RUN FOR EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR

    The most remarkable display of Sobers' batting credentials came in his stunning 365 not out against Pakistan.

    That knock, which was a record when he produced it as a 21-year-old in 1958, stands as his all-time best from 93 Tests, eclipsing his all-rounder rivals.

    Next on the list is England's Ben Stokes with 258, with South Africa's Jacques Kallis taking third spot with 224.

    Of the rest, Stokes' compatriot Ian Botham (208) is the only other man with a double-century under his belt.
     

    CONSISTENCY IS KEY

    Compiling a big score is one thing, but consistently racking up runs is the real test of talent.

    The numbers favour Sobers on that front, too. His average of 57.8 again puts him top of the pile.

    Kallis comes a close second with 55.4, with none of the other contenders even breaking into the 40s.

    Pakistan's Imran Khan averaged 37.7, with Keith Miller posting 37.0 for Australia.
     

    SOBERS THE CENTURY KING

    In 160 Test innings, Sobers recorded 26 centuries.

    While that figure pales next to Kallis' 45, the Proteas great took 280 innings to reach that tally.

    That means Sobers triumphs again in this category, with 16.3 per cent of his innings producing scores of 100 or more, with Kallis standing at 16.1 per cent.

    Nobody else on the list can boast a double-figure percentage, with Botham on 8.7 and Miller on 8.
     

    HANDY WITH THE BALL

    Sobers claimed 235 wickets from 159 Test innings with the ball.

    In this area, at least, he does have to take a back seat to some more prolific wicket-taking all-rounders.

    Chief among them is Kapil Dev, who accounted for 434 victims in a stellar India career.

    Richard Hadlee's 431 puts the New Zealander second, with Botham on 383 and Khan on 362.


    BEST FIGURES STAND UP

    With best figures of 6-73, Sobers compares favourably with his competitors. 

    Hadlee and Dev both enjoyed nine-wicket innings, but Botham's 8-34 in 1978 against Pakistan is the pick of the bunch.

    Sobers' best match figures are 8-80, with Hadlee the proud owner of a 15-wicket haul.

    With 36 five-fors, Hadlee also leads the way on that score, with Botham (27) followed by Khan and Dev (both 23).

    Sobers', meanwhile, had just six five-fors.


    NOBODY IS PERFECT

    Although the data clearly supports Sobers' status as the GOAT, there is one category in which he comes last.

    His bowling average - still a very commendable 34 - is a long way short of the 22.3 that belongs to Hadlee.

    Khan (22.8) and Miller (23) are also a long way ahead of Sobers.

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