All eyes on India
While international matches took places in the West Indies, Zimbabwe and England, somehow the attention seemed mainly on the India tour of England.
Bangladesh found it hard in the Caribbean isles as the West Indies seem to have once against found a couple of quicks who are making batsmen hop. Shannon Gabriel has been most impressive, bowling consistently around the 150km per hour mark and Kemar Roach, although not as quick as when he started out, is sharp enough and getting movement to trouble the batsmen, especially when the ball is new. The third quick, Miguel Cummins, is still not in full rhythm, but when he gets it right he can be an awkward customer. They are supported by their skipper Jason Holder, who bowls a nagging line and gets the new ball to move nicely. Then there is Alzarri Joseph, who is injured but still has age on his side to be the kind of quick the batsmen don’t like facing.
West Indies’ batting still does not quite have the consistency that the team of the 1970s had, but then it’s virtually impossible to replicate a batting unit that had Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Viv Richards, Alvin Kallicharran and Clive Lloyd, with wicketkeeper Jeff Dujon to follow.
Shane Dowrich, the new wicketkeeper, has been impressive both with the bat and behind the stumps with the big gloves, much to the dismay of the supporters of Denesh Ramdin, who Dowrich displaced.
In Zimbabwe, Aaron Finch beat his own record of the highest individual score in Twenty20 cricket internationals, scoring 172, and that emphasises how much the game has progressed. A team total of 175 was the kind that teams thought was good to defend, but here now is an individual batsman getting that sort of score himself. It’s like Rohit Sharma getting the highest individual score of 264 in ODIS when teams not so long ago thought that that kind of score was good to win a game. Mind you, teams still win T20 games scoring 175 and 265 in a 50over match, but, still, to find individual batsmen’s scores like that does tell you how the game has evolved. When statisticians put up batsmen’s statistics in Test match and 50over cricket, they usually tell how many 50s and 100s a batsman has scored, but in T20 cricket they bring it down to 30s and that’s simply because in the ultrashort format of the game scoring 30 is hard. Even harder is to get three wickets as a bowler because a bowler gets only four overs to