The cricketers from the Caribbean have stood out once again in the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) 2013. They have been nothing less than brilliant, individually and as a unit, in the recent past. Aayush Puthran explains why their success signals towards a new power structure wherein three different teams will dominate the three different formats of the game.
West Indian cricketers playing in all their pomp bring about a sense of fiesta to cricket. There is a sheer rawness about their game, enough to entertain the crowd anywhere in the world. The ongoing edition of the CLT20, like all Twenty20 tournaments across the world, is yet another showcase of the brilliance of talent that goes, otherwise, unnoticed in the cricketing world.
Twenty20 cricket, as it stands today, seems like a format tailor-made for reviving West Indian cricket. How else can one define the success of players like Kieron Pollard, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kevon Cooper, Darren Sammy, Dwayne Smith and many others like them offering their services to T20 franchises world over? How do you describe their success as a collective unit in the shortest format at the world stage? How tough is it to ignore the consistent success of Trinidad and Tobago against the best T20 teams in the world?
The ongoing tournament in India is yet another stage where their talent and individual success, much like this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) or last year’s T20 World Cup was, hogs the limelight. But what is equally mind-boggling is their consistent failure in One-Day Internationals (ODI) and Tests. Is it time, unlike in the past where an Australian or a West Indian side was the dominant force, that three different teams will dominate three different formats?
It is equally worth noticing that India have been brilliant in the 50-over format wherever they have played in the recent past, barring a couple of series. Australia, too, in all their mighty fall, have boasted a decent record in ODIs. However, they haven’t been a force to reckon with against teams like England and South Africa in the longest form of the game. On the other hand, South Africa and England with all their strength in the main team and reserves haven’t quite come out with the kind of results they would’ve liked in T20 cricket.
Maybe with changing times and dynamic methods, the power structures too will change. If teams can have different squads and different captains for the three formats, it wouldn’t be surprising if one team doesn’t dominate an era entirely from here on.
(Aayush Puthran is a reporter with CricketCountry. Mercurially jovial, pseudo pompous, perpetually curious and occasionally confused, he is always up for a light-hearted chat over a few cups of filter kaapi!)