Wallace speaks on WI defeat against New Zealand

Technical deficiencies, mainly against short-pitched bowling, as well as disappointing first innings scores, have been identified as major factors in the downfall of the West Indies batsmen during the just concluded two-match Test series against New Zealand, which the home team swept.

Those are the views of former Barbados captain and West Indies opening batsman Philo Wallace, in an interview with yours truly.

West Indies lost both Tests inside four days – by an innings and 67 runs at the Basin Reserve in Wellington (Scores: West Indies 134 all out (45.4 overs) and 319 all out (106 overs); New Zealand 520 for nine declared (148.4 overs); and by 240 runs at Seddon Park in Hamilton (Scores: New Zealand 373 all out (102.2 overs) and 291 for eight declared (77.4 overs); West Indies 221 all out (66.5 overs) and 203 all out (63.5 overs).

Left-arm pacers Neil Wagner and Trent Boult led the New Zealand attack. Wagner took 14 wickets at 18.28 runs apiece, while Boult picked up ten (ave: 24.80).

“There was a clear deficiency among the West Indies batsmen in relation to playing the short-pitched ball, in that their techniques compounded the problem. If you look at the mode of dismissals to the short ball, most of them were out trying to take evasive action. They were caught in no-man’s land,” Wallace said.

“This was due to improper footwork, basic watching of the ball and negating the bounce by either leaving the ball or getting into the right position to play it.

“A batsman is supposed to pull a length ball or hook at a bouncer. If you are going to hook at a bouncing ball, you need to get on top of it to hit it down. If you are hooking up, you should be hooking for six.

“I think that West Indies fell down in their batting. We did not score enough runs as a batting unit, particularly in the first innings.

“West Indies should have looked at a big first innings score, either batting first or second, to take the pressure off the batsmen going into the second innings.

“The trend in West Indies cricket is that the batsmen try to bat at their best when the pitch is deteriorating. That calls for a lot of mental, physical and technical application.

“The coaching staff, particularly our batting coach, need to do a better assessment of the calibre of batsmen they have to work with. Maybe the batting coach might require more outside of the regular net sessions.

“It might be happening but we don’t know because we are not hearing anything. If we are going to look at performances, where does the buck stop?

“If you get into the right position to play an attacking shot to the rising ball and you realise that the shot is not on, you should be able to either move out of the way or defend it properly.

“And if you are not in the correct position with your feet, you will find yourself throwing your hands at the ball because you are feeling for it. And more often than not you get out. So the key is to get into the right position.”

Wallace also touched on the technique of rookie batsman Sunil Ambris, who was dismissed hit wicket twice in his first three innings.

Sunil Ambris needs to adjust technique against short-pitched bowling.

“Ambris was not going back and across. He was going back towards leg stump. He was trying to get outside the ball instead of going in line. When you go back and across, you are moving your back foot towards off stump. While moving to off stump, you pick up the line of the ball. Then what messages are sent to your front foot, hands and bat, you should be able to play the ball,” Wallace asserted.

Wallace also compared the pace attacks of both teams.

“When we look at our fast bowling, can we consider them as genuine fast bowlers or medium-fast?

“Shannon Gabriel is supposed to be our fastest bowler but inconsistency is hampering his ability to bowl fast.

“Kemar Roach is medium-fast with the ability to bowl a good line and length. He can also get the ball to swing.

“Jason Holder is back of the length and lacks aggression.

“Miguel Cummins is the most aggressive of our pacers and looks to hit the deck hard like Wagner but he is not as effective.

“Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner are all medium-fast bowlers but they are different. Boult swings the ball both ways, Southee is more back of the length away movement and Wagner is aggressive and hits the deck hard.

“I thought our fast bowlers lacked aggression. We bowled out New Zealand only once. Sometimes you have to learn from the opposition on the field to make things happen in your favour and we did not do that as a bowling unit. We did not create a lot of opportunities.

“We are saying that our Test match cricketers have the ability but they are inexperienced. This New Zealand series has just set us back in relation to losing both Test matches inside four days.

“I think that the Test cricketers we have are good enough to do better.”

Wallace also called on the authorities to seriously analyse the pitches in the region in light of the fact that they have become relatively flat.

“I think we have to look at the surfaces in the Caribbean but then again it is also called adjustment and professionalism. One has to adapt techniques to suit conditions.

“The pitches in the region are slow and low. We need to improve them to accommodate a better brand of West Indies cricket,” Wallace said.

Hopefully, Wallace views, in his usual frank style, will be well digested and acted on.

(Keith Holder is a veteran, award-winning freelance sports journalist, who has been covering local, regional and International cricket since 1980 as a writer and commentator.
He has compiled statistics on the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) Division 1 (now Elite) Championship for over three-and-a-half decades and is responsible for editing the BCA website
(www.bcacricket.org). Holder is also the host of the cricket Talk Show, Mid Wicket, on the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation 100.7 FM on Tuesday nights.
Email: keithfholder@gmail.com)

16 Responses to Wallace speaks on WI defeat against New Zealand

  1. Byrone Browne
    Byrone Browne December 15, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    This guy should shut his mouth. Firstly, he was a failure himself when he tried to player for WI. Secondly, his reasons for the failure are lies. We watched the games. These players are incapable. You cannot get to the top level of cricket, then be expected to be coached to cope with basics of cricket. This is not high school cricket. Only in high school or at first class level for your country that you hear those things that Wallace is taking about. Clearly, it’s an admission that team selection was wrong, misguided, xenophobic. Third, why have so many useless Bajans in the team when other better players are in the region. That team is not WI, it’s Bajans. Fourthly, Phil Simmons and Courtney Ambrose were more successful as coach. The current coaching staff is a disgrace and should be fired. That’s what Wallace should see. But then, he won’t. He is a Bajan like the rest of the team.

    • Andrea C Prescod
      Andrea C Prescod December 15, 2017 at 8:19 pm

      Players like who should play?

    • Byrone Browne
      Byrone Browne December 15, 2017 at 8:22 pm

      Lol. Go back to the,islands. Let me avoid names but say Guyana, Antigua, St Lucia, St Kits, etc have better players

      • harry turnover December 18, 2017 at 10:29 am

        …but YOU have to call the NAMES of those who ARE PERFORMING BETTER THAN THOSE BAJANS SELECTED.,otherwise you are spitting in the air
        Go and check the stats and come back and talk SENSE…BIG IDIOT !!…don’t you know that if they are BETTER common sense should tell you that they HAVE TO BE PERFORMING BETTER..ya FIDIOT.

    • Byrone Browne
      Byrone Browne December 15, 2017 at 8:23 pm

      Xenophobia is killing how you think of the game, and team selection

  2. Steve Austrie
    Steve Austrie December 15, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    West Indies cricket which I use to enjoy watching had hit the bottom of the pit, both in Test and the one day 50 overs segment. From what I saw in the test series played In New Zealand there was no leadership, no vision. A New Zealand No. 9 batsman scoring over a hundred runs in the first test, that would not happen to any of the other countries. WI bowlers were bowling too fast , overstepped the crease, too wide, too short and had no direction. The batting was pretty average. Overall not good. Is this the best players what we have at the moment to compete against other nations.? As a cricketing nation of who once dominated the game, but not anymore, sad.

  3. Cuthbert Lucas
    Cuthbert Lucas December 15, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    I agree with you Philo.bravo the best of the rest is not selected.a man makes a hundred of substandard bowling and running from the ball

  4. orlando December 15, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    bygone brown you started off good but when you started picking on bajans thats where you went off course. all the chat you still didnt call name of players from the other islands that is deserving of test plays ahead of who is there. and mr. wallace dont forget south africa scared the daylights outta you. and you got all your teeth knocked out in australia. this crop will be just fine very soon.

  5. luther thorne December 16, 2017 at 3:10 am

    I believe that the players are not being allowed to be themselves. Cricket is a game where you have to work things out for yourself .Coaching is for jokers. Real cricketers do not need no foolish Coach telling them nonsense. A coach could go around Desmond Haynes , Viv Richards , Gordon Greenidge, Clive Lloyd, Malcolm Marshall or the Greatest – Sir Garry ? To tell them what ? Steupse !!

    West Indians especially Bajans learn by copying and imitating that is why Bajans were the best . No Coaches needed. Play cricket everyday and road running is all a cricketers need . Add some Mount Gay and Cockspur and good to go sixes and fours galore. 6 -; 4 ; 6 ; 4. 6. 6.6 6 6.6
    Chris Gayle is the Greatest

  6. luther thorne December 16, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Please allow my comment you have under moderation
    It has nothing questionable about it. If not tell me what is it so that I can correct

  7. luther thorne December 16, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    I believe that players should be allowed to be themselves. Cricket is a game where you have to work things out for yourself .Coaching is for jokers. Real cricketers do not need Coaches telling them what to do. A coach could go around Desmond Haynes , Viv Richards , Gordon Greenidge, Clive Lloyd, Malcolm Marshall or the Greatest – Sir Garry ? To tell them what ? Steupse !!

    West Indians especially Bajans learn by copying and imitating that is why Bajans were the best . No Coaches needed. Play cricket everyday and road running is all a cricketer needs . Add some rum and yuh good to go : sixes and fours galore. 6 -; 4 ; 6 ; 4. 6. 6.6 6 6.6
    Chris Gayle is the Greatest
    Wallace destroyed bowling

  8. luther thorne December 16, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Cant understand why comment being stopped. It is just saying that Coaching messing up we cricket and that the great players never had coaches. We are naturals

    • harry turnover December 18, 2017 at 10:34 am

      Exactly Luther…big hard back men don’t need any coaches.Coaches are for those who now start out in cricket.

  9. OutsideLookingIn December 16, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    THE West Indies Cricket Board of Control are incapable of running the show , from coaching, selection etc. About time they all step aside and appoint non West Indians with a bonus targets. Also the players need bonus targets/ incentives.

    When we had ‘little or nothing’ we at least had pride and that took us to the top. Now there is no pride, mindset is poor, leadership absent in every quarter. Can’t see any sustainable improvement unless the leadership hold they hands up…or is it the index finger…

  10. harry turnover December 18, 2017 at 10:52 am

    Why ?

  11. Alex Alleyne December 19, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    No good fast bowlers , lack of decent pitches , poor foot work are just some of the problems in the WI. Main problem is WICB/CW because they need the services of GREENIDGE and LARA to coach the batsmen we have. They are the best we have , just need “fine tuning” by these 2 Masters.


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