Former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd thinks the cricketers from the Caribbean need to have a hard look at themselves. A couple of days after Darren Sammys side lost the Test series 0-2,the 69-year-old,here for a promotional event,told The Indian Express in an interview that the present side lacks balance. Excerpts.
What do you think of the performance of the West Indies team during the recently concluded Test series?
* The performance hasnt been good at all. It has been a deeply disappointing tour. The team needs to have a hard look at itself and they have a lot of work to do. It is important for them to take this disappointing show in their stride.
What do you think of their batting?
* I believe that in the second Test,once they made 182 they were behind the game. With the batting line-up that India has,they made the West Indies pay for such a small total. The batsmen caved under pressure. However,I also believe that in the first Test when we had them at 120 odd for five,we really missed quality bowlers. We were short on penetrative bowling. I believe that any side you choose,be it ODI or Test,it needs to have balance. Sadly,there is no visible balance in this side.
Do you blame shot-selection for the batting failure?
* I think and I hope that the West Indian batsmen have learned their lessons after watching how the Indian batsmen went about their business. The Indians can play aggressive ODI cricket but they can also transform into Test player,show restraint and bat for long periods. You simply cannot play some of the shots that a few of the (West Indian) batsmen played. The batting unit is pretty young,but these young batters need to learn how to apply themselves in a Test-match situation.
Darren Sammys captaincy and his overall value to the side have been questioned. What are your views on the topic?
* Sammy as a captain has brought the guys together. They are definitely looking a better bunch under his leadership. But now,I think people are taking a look at the balance of the side. I believe that when a team is losing,the captain is the first person to be blamed. However,having said that,he (Sammy) needs to take a look at himself,put his hand up and the selectors need to take a decision on his future.
Does West Indies cricket have a Twenty20 hangover?
* T20 hangover? I think they looked drunk. I personally believe that T20 is something that brings people to the game,brings money to players and if its doing that then you have to stick with it. However,a diet of too much T20 can be very harmful. I believe T20 is an exhibition while Test cricket is an examination. If you can separate them,then it is absolutely fine. However,I dont want the first thing that young players want to learn is to hit the ball out of the ground. Proper technique and the vital rudiments of the game are very important.
On Shane Shillingford being reported for a suspect action?
* It is quite a disappointing thing that Shillingford was reported,considering he was our best bowler. It is not his first time,he has been called before. However,in my opinion,I find it difficult to see it. He bowled a lot of overs,maybe he got tired and his arm dropped a little. Shillingford didnt look like he was throwing,at least to me but then its all down to the umpire (reporting a suspect action).
The present-day West Indian cricketers havent reached the heights of Richards,Garner,Marshall,Lloyd. What is the reason for that?
* I suppose we did not really have a second wave of players. We did not prepare so well for the future. We thought we would always have other good players coming through. But,people back home in the West Indies have gravitated towards other things. There is of course Usain Bolt and athletics,basketball,football and boxing. Right now,we need to work with what we have,develop and polish our crop of young players at the high performance centre.