West Indies' win against Australia in both ODIs and T20 series almost went unnoticed amidst the IPL buzz
In the build-up to the high-profile Indian Premier League, one significant achievement far away in the Caribbean Islands did not get the attention it deserved. A West Indian side levelling both the one-day series (2-2) and also the two-match T-20 series against the formidable Australians. A feat which was unthinkable even a few weeks ago.
It will be jumping the gun clearly if one were to believe that West Indies is coming of age finally and ready to storm the cricketing world. But, this was one performance which should have pleased even the most cynical of the West Indian fans given the intensity with which the Calypso cricketers fought and seemed determined to prove a point.
Clear hints of these traits are available in the first Test against the Aussies next week itself too with Shivnaraine Chanderpaul slamming his 25th Test century in 137 matches.
For a nation, or rather a group of cricket-crazy islands, which once dominated the game and now starving for success, the one-day series might well have led to a sense of optimism.
It is an open secret that even this West Indian team has quite a few naturals like Adrian Bharath, Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard and the captain Darren Sammy who seems to be enjoying the game more even as he is getting older.
The significance of Pollard's amazing onslaught, though he has a charmed life out there in the middle with the Aussies being very generous in dropping quite a few catches, is he served a reminder that he has still the fire-power to toy with a bowling attack.
And, there were some rare sights from the Windies perspective too like Lee himself at the receiving end of a beamer from Kemar Roach when the chase was on. This was a simple instance of meeting fire with fire. It is a different issue that the same Lee hit the same bowler for 24 runs in the next over with three fours with two sixes.
That this creditable performance came minus the biggest name in contemporary West Indies cricket –Christ Gayle – is all the more remarkable.
Will these gifted West Indian cricketers realise that what matters is not just having the potential but the ability to translate into performance after this impressive series is the big question which only time will tell.
Keywords: Australia's tour of West Indies