Marlon Samuels averages 24.66 in his six innings in the series against India so far © AFP
Marlon Samuels averages 24.66 in his six innings in the series against India so far © AFP

It’s a pity that Marlon Samuels cannot ball in international cricket. Had Samuels been able to bowl, he would have at least made some contribution to his side. Samuels with an average of 33 in Tests is West Indies’ most senior player in the current squad, which is scary to begin with. Being a senior player is not just about the tag, but also has a lot of responsibilities that go with it. He should be a role model for the youngsters in the team, nurture them and lead from the front by performing well on the field. Full Cricket Scorecard: India vs West Indies, 4th Test match

Sadly for West Indies, it has been quite a while since Samuels did anything of significance for the Test side. Yes, he played two match-winning knocks in the final of the World T20 and has been in decent form in One-Day Internationals (ODI). But what warrants him a place in the Test side?

It seems like the WICB do not have high expectations from the Test side to begin with. That explains Samuels still hanging around also explains why players like Rajendra Chandrika with a First-Class average of 25 are even allowed to play for them. Samuels in the ongoing series against India – the second ranked side at the beginning of the series has done very little for the benefit of the team. He has often played rash shots to get out and in the process has just managed to score 148 runs in his six innings at No. 4. READ: 5 West Indies cricketers to watch out for

Had this been someone from the Indian side, say Virat Kohli, there would have been criticised for his poor show and would have faced the wrath of the Indian fans back home. But for Samuels, this is just another day in the office. He walks in like he is doing a favour for his side, once in a while gets into the 30s and then heads back to the pavilion. #ThankYouMarlon.

Samuels last scored a century against England in April 2015. Though England went on to lose that match, he did very little wrong. 16 months have passed by since Samuels got anything close to that. Basically, the last time Samuels scored a century, the world had not head of Mustafizur Rahman, Australia still held The Ashes and Pakistan had still not seen the return of international cricket on their soil. READ: India vs West Indies 4th Test: Key battles

Amongst all this, Samuels’ pathetic performance in the longest format has remained constant. Unlike Denesh Ramdin, Samuels at least does not brag about his average and cause himself further embarrassment. And make no mistake, Samuels by is no stretch of imagination a special talent. The fact that cricketers like Joe Root, Kane Williamson and Steven Smith have more runs than Samuels in 46, 50 and 44 Tests respectively compared to Samuels’ 67 Tests (YES 67!) shows Samuels is a very, very average player.  Also, while Samuels has just 7 tons in 120 innings so far, the other three have at least gone into double figures.

There were murmurs in the ongoing series against India that Samuels might call it a day in the longest format. Jeffrey Dujon had said on air had mentioned that Samuels is seriously thinking about it. But Samuels has completely denied that and made it clear that he does not plan on hanging up his boots any time soon. But there is always hope that he will take the right call soon – for his benefit and the benefit of the team (more importantly). READ: IND vs WI 4th Test Preview: Kohli’s No. 1 India look to stamp authority

Test cricket is all about absorbing the pressure, playing out the rough phase, analysing the situation and then once you have gotten you eye in, go for your shots. Samuels perhaps knows a thing or two about that, but his lack of application is what is most worrying. He has played well in tough conditions like South Africa and England, yet has a poor average at home. Samuels averages 27.91 at home and has only a couple of centuries. He is one of those rare batsmen, who have a higher average overseas, than at home.

He had a golden opportunity to turn that around, bring all his experience into play against a world class Indian bowling attack. But it seems like that is too much to ask for from him. For now he is happy to play until he is named in the team. West Indies do have a good domestic structure and it may not be a bad idea in investing in fresh talent (not Chandrika) than wasting time with Samuels. READ: IND vs WI, 4th Test: Likely XI for hosts

Perhaps Samuels saves all his energy for the T20Is. With West Indies playing India in a couple of matches in USA soon, we might see Samuels finally putting his bat to better use. As far as Test cricket goes, his days are (hopefully) numbered.

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry.com. He is a sport enthusiast and a keen observer of cricket, the contests, and its personalities. When not tracking cricket, he follows the world’s soccer leagues and is somewhat partial towards Liverpool. His Twitter handle is @pramz)