By CricketCountry Staff
Mumbai: Oct 13, 2012
Former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd, who lead the team from 1974 to 1985 and lifting it to the height of becoming world’s best Test playing then, feels winning the ICC World Twenty20 tournament was a much needed for the present team.
“Winning this tournament was a lift that the team needed. For all those people hoping that the West Indies cricket would rise again, let’s hope this is turning point,” Lloyd was quoted as saying by DNA.
“I expected them to do well. We are one of the most explosive sides around. Out of the 15 big hitters in the world, six belong to our team. They are all phenomenal strikers. It gives them impetus on the field. They know they can go out there and dominate. That’s what they must do in the longer version too. Apart from Chris Gayle, we have Samuels (Marlon) who’s growing in confidence in both Tests and ODIs. We have a couple of good spinners and decent fast bowlers, basically an attack that can dislodge any opponent. We’re close to being quite a balanced side,” Lloyd said.
Answering to what has changes in the present team has lead to such a great victory, Lloyd said, “They are gelling together. They seem to be quite happy when they go out there. Nothing seems to faze them. And they’re showing purpose. You have got to give credit to the captain (Darren Sammy), for he has got them playing as a unit. Don’t forget he has been under pressure too. In the long run, we’ll find out how good he is. So far he has done marvellously well.”
Speaking on Marlon Samuels, Lloyd said, “From the England series onwards he has done well. You can see that he’s concentrating a lot more and making his wicket difficult to get. You realise he’s not going to gift it. He is batting in a position where you need to be solid. And Samuels is solid.”
Lloyd believes the present squad is much better than the 2004 Champions Trophy winning team.
“This looks a much better squad than the one in 2004. They have been together for quite a while now...like playing in the IPL. They seem to be strong-willed.”
When asked whether winning T20 title indicates how good the side is, Lloyd replied, “It isn’t really, but the win suggests that we can be a good ODI outfit. This is the start, the impetus that we needed to excel in the longer version.”
“I’m sure that’s what the thinking will be in the future. At least we have two spinners who are able to confuse the batters. In the longer format, we’ll know how good they are. In the one-day game, I don’t think too many people will attack them and be successful. Reminds me of our times. We had Inshan Ali, he was a left-armer. We had Imtiaz Ali, although he was a leg-spinner. And then Dinanath Ramnarine (the leg-spinner who became part of the the West Indies Players Association).”
Speaking on Chris Gayle, Lloyd said, “Chris just wanted to be back. He looks a really happy soul. Once he is happy, I’m happy. He creates that force and sort of generates the warmth needed for team spirit. I don’t think he’s giving the establishment any problems. They had one little spat. But he’s really a decent fellow to work with.”
“If you watched his knock against Australia, he paces his innings to a nicety. He’s strong and has good eyes. He treats even the quicks with disdain. They are scared of bowling to him.”
Lloyd suggested that West Indies needs to identify who are the key players in different formats to succeed in future.
“First, they will have to identify who are their ideal ODI players and who are the Test cricketers. Someone like Kieron Pollard can do the kind of job Andrew Symonds did for Australia. Pollard is explosive and can be a handful down the order. We have enough bowlers to choose from — both pace and spin. Now is the time to move on to the next level.”
“They can do as much as they like. They are young and have everything before them. They can make this a golden period.”
Lloyd ended by saying that that he hoping they will be top ranked soon.
“I’m hoping they’ll be No 1 shortly.”