Will returning stars make a difference for West Indies against Sri Lanka ?

By Mariah Ramharack February 28, 2021

On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they've seen throughout the week with different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these trending issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT the 2021 edition with Mariah

 Big names in Windies T20 and ODI squads; execution will be the key.

Last Friday, West Indies named T20I and ODI squads as they get ready for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka beginning on March 3 in Antigua. These matches will serve as preparation for the team that hopes to successfully defend the ICC T20 World Cup title in India later this year. On paper, the team looks strong. However, teamwork will be among the keys to success for Kieron Pollard’s men.

The recall of Chris Gayle and Fidel Edwards did not come as a surprise as the selectors believe both still have a lot to offer. The 41-year-old Gayle last played for the Windies in 2019 when he scored 72 against India in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

The Universe Boss is heading into the series against Sri Lanka in good form. Before he returned to the Caribbean, Gayle had scores of 39 and 68, playing for the Quetta Gladiators against the Karachi Kings and Lahore Qualanders, respectively.

Gayle’s experience will prove invaluable to the West Indies having scored 13,691 runs in T20I with 22 hundreds. His influence in the dressing room is also expected to be a significant factor.

Edwards returns to the team after an absence of nine years but at 39, he is still able to generate 90mph deliveries that CWI will hope he uses to add to his 26 T20I scalps.

Experience aside, the selectors have included a number of younger players who are expecting to make their debuts during the series. Guyana’s Kevin Sinclair and Trinidad’s Akeal Hosein impressed with recent performances in Bangladesh and during the CG Insurance Super 50 competition.

Both players played in the finals of the Super 50 tournament on which the 21-year-old Sinclair picked up five wickets and scored 47 runs for the Guyana Jaguars. Hosein impressed for the Trinidad Red Force taking eight wickets at a miserly economy rate of 4.18.

The mixture of youth and experience will need a strong leader and the West Indies are blessed with that in the form of Kieron Pollard, who in recent months, won the CPL and the Super50 and had a leadership role in the Mumbai Indians winning the IPL late last year.

His wisdom, experience and will to win will be key to any success the Windies have against the Sri Lankans and future series.

“Winning is the only thing,” he said after claiming the Super50 title on Saturday. It is imperative his team believes that as well.

 

 Red Force too hot to handle!

The Trinidad and Tobago Red Force won all seven of their matches to lift the Sir Clive Lloyd Trophy on Saturday after smashing the Guyana Jaguars by 152 runs in the final at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.

The aptly named Red Force scored an imposing 362-5 and then restricted Jaguars to 210 from 43.5 overs.

It was an all-around team effort that resulted in the domination of a strong Jaguars team.

Lendl Simmons saved his best performance with the bat for the final scoring 146, the highest score in a 50-over final and he was supported by Evin Lewis’ 57, 47 from Dwayne Bravo and a quick-fire 39 from Nicholas Pooran.

Their bowlers, led by Ravi Rampaul’s 4-52 and Jayden Seales, who picked up 3-40 and Anderson Phillip 2-40 decimated the opponent’s batting notwithstanding a courageous unbeaten 97 from Raymon Reifer.

The team’s dominance came down to the consistency of each member. Jason Mohammed was the highest run-scorer with 327. He scored a century (122) and averaged an excellent 81.75 for the tournament. Lewis, who had a high score of 107, was the second-highest run-scorer with 318 at an average of 45.42.

Simmons was also among the top-five run-scorer for the 2020 champions and was the only batsman with more than one century in the tournament.

The veteran Ravi Rampaul’s 14 wickets were the second-best haul for the tournament, just three behind fellow finalist Gudakesh Motie’s 17 for the Jaguars.  However, all their bowlers contributed to the team’s success this season.

Leave the NBA logo as it is else change it to Michael Jordan!

The NBA logo is a timeless classic, a representation of love and respect for the game. It remains a silhouette of Lakers great Jerry West since 1969.

However, in recent times, Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving has called for it to be changed to an image of late Laker great Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash in January 2020, and whose contributions to the game cannot be accurately quantified.

“Gotta Happen, idc what anyone says,” Irving said on Instagram.

Irving’s call has been endorsed by Bryant’s widow Vanessa.

 While I understand the call for the change, it must be noted the G.O.A.T discussion in the NBA starts and ends with Michael Jordan, a person who Kobe admired greatly.  Having played 15 seasons and winning six championships with the Bulls, he should be considered as the logo replacement.

Apart from the statistics which are compelling - 11 All-Star teams, 5 MVP awards, 10 scoring titles – Jordan’s killer instinct and obsession with winning are qualities that embody the NBA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related items

  • 'Two steps forward and one step back' - Windies need time to assess true damage of lop-sided hammering from South Africa 'Two steps forward and one step back' - Windies need time to assess true damage of lop-sided hammering from South Africa

    West Indies coach Phil Simmons believes it may be too early to assess the full impact of a crushing defeat at the hands of South Africa in the recently concluded Test series.

    Things looked to be on the up for the regional squad following solid performances away to Bangladesh and at home to Sri Lanka, which had even led to the team moving up the Test team rankings table.

    However, the West Indies could hardly find a foothold in the series against the visiting South Africans.  They failed to reach the 200 runs in any innings of the two Test matches and were bowled out for 97 in the first innings of the Test match.

    The coach will be hoping the performance is more of an aberration than an erosion of the progress made in recent months.

    “It has been a setback.  You don’t know how big a setback until we do our remedying and come up against Pakistan,” Simmons told members of the media.

    “At the same time, we keep making sure that sometimes you have two steps forward and one step back in progress.  So, it is a little setback we will know how big a setback with the Pakistan series.”

    The West Indies will play against a visiting Pakistan in a two-Test series in August.

     

     

     

  • Bolivia v Uruguay: Cavani and Suarez must sharpen up to send Tabarez's men towards knockouts Bolivia v Uruguay: Cavani and Suarez must sharpen up to send Tabarez's men towards knockouts

    Uruguay face Bolivia in the Copa America on Thursday and need Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez to start producing in attack.

    After losing their opening match to Argentina, Oscar Tabarez's men drew 1-1 with Chile on matchday two to breathe a bit of life into their campaign.

    The goal was their first since November 2020, yet it came via Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal, who turned into his own net under pressure from Suarez.

    Uruguay's problems in attack are clear: they have the lowest shooting accuracy at the Copa America (20 per cent), and the worst shot conversion rate (five per cent).

    That is in spite of the fact they boast a strike partnership in Suarez and Cavani who have plundered 114 international goals between them. They have only managed a combined seven shots at these finals, six of which came against Chile.

    Uruguay do, at least, have a strong recent record against Bolivia, who have lost to Paraguay and Chile at this tournament and only won one of their past 12 meetings with La Celeste – a qualifier for the 2014 World Cup.

    Indeed, Bolivia are on a 10-game winless run in Copa America matches played in Brazil and have not beaten Uruguay at a neutral venue since 1949.

     

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Bolivia – Roberto Fernandez

    Fernandez belied his inexperience with a strong performance against Chile, making six clearances and four interceptions at left-back, with only two team-mates having more than his 67 touches of the ball.

    He could find himself in with a tough battle against Federico Valverde down the Uruguay right.

    Uruguay – Facundo Torres

    Torres attempted three shots and created two chances against Chile, as many as Cavani managed, despite the 21-year-old only coming on for the final 30 minutes.

    This could be a good opportunity for Tabarez to hand the Penarol forward a chance to impress from the start.

     

    KEY OPTA FACTS

    - Uruguay have lost only one of their past 12 games against Bolivia in all competitions (W8 D3), 1-0 in La Paz in World Cup 2014 qualifying. 
    - Uruguay have won 11 of their 13 games against Bolivia at neutral venues (D1 L1). The only win for Bolivia was in 1949, 3-2 in Rio de Janeiro in the Copa America.
    - Bolivia have lost their past five games and have failed to win in their previous 10 Copa America matches played in Brazil (D2 L8). They have won only four games in the competition in this country, all of them at the 1949 edition.
    - Bolivia have the lowest possession average (31.2 per cent) but the highest forward passes percentage (39.4 per cent of their 597 total passes) at the tournament.
    - Uruguay have the lowest shooting accuracy at the Copa America 2021: only the 20 per cent (4/20) of their shots have been on target. They have the lowest shot conversion rate, too (five per cent).

  • NBA playoffs 2021: Lue eyes home comforts for ailing Clippers NBA playoffs 2021: Lue eyes home comforts for ailing Clippers

    Los Angeles Clippers coach Tyronn Lue urged his team to "take care of business" by capitalising on home-court advantage as they seek to overturn a 2-0 deficit to the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals.

    Deandre Ayton's dunk with less than one second to play gave the Suns a stunning 104-103 victory on Tuesday, leaving the Clippers to play catch-up.

    Ayton caught a lobbed inbounds pass from Jae Crowder over the rim and slammed it home to seal the triumph, with Paul George failing to get off a buzzer-beating shot as the Clippers endured an agonising loss.

    However, Lue refused to be downbeat as he was left to lament fine margins, with the Clippers coach now looking to put things right back in LA on Thursday.

    "We fought well, we played well," said Lue.

    "We had a chance to win the game. They won a tip-in and now we've got to go home and take care of business.

    "They won two games on their home floor. We understand that. We've been in this position before, even though we hate it.

    "Like I said, our guys fought and competed, but they made a big play at the end."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.