Windies have won the T20World in Gangnam style but is that enough?
It was a joy to watch the West Indies win a world title after 33 long years; the World T20 win by Sammy and his men surely takes us back to those glorious days of the men from the Caribbeans at least in glimpses. We have seen West Indies team's victory in 1975 and 1979 World Cup under the captaincy of the great Clive Lloyd. But then the slide started with 1983 World cup when the then minnows, India, under Kapil Dev, beat them at the Lords.
Much has happened since then in West Indies Cricket. Many greats have come and gone....Brain Lara reigned supreme in a team which craved for more match winners. Windies cricket have passed through some of its worst turmoils ever. Rampant corruption and maladministration even got the players revolting.
Finally, the T20 victory could just be the light they need at the end of the long tunnel and leading this beacon of light is one man who knows no fear when he has the willow in his hand...Chris Gayle. His sheer aggression in batting make bowlers think twice before bowling to him as more often the ball sails over the boundary and into the stands. Cricket buffs loved watching him score highly in every innings except the finals where another like him but surely saner in his antics, Marlon Samuels, took over.
Gayle, Pollard and Marlon Samuels form the backbone of West Indies batting right now. They may pale a bit when it comes to their predecessors, the likes of Lloyd, Richards, and Lara, but are surely making the impact that the rest of the world is forced to sit up and watch. But to be called a great West Indian batting team that could deciminate any bowling attack across the world, you need more than just a proof of excellence in the shortest format of the game. If power was undoubtedly the forte of a Vivian Richards, he could also play long innings with his sheer temperament. Lloyd and Lara could do exactly the same. Gayle and co need to prove more to be the best but surely it's a step in the right direction.
In bowling, the likes of Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose and Malcolm Marshall have spat venom at the batsmen for years. They were the best bowlers of their time and possessed the capability to change the course of a game at any time.
Ravi Rampaul and Darren Sammy are not even half good, but what's better for the Windies is the shift in the style of attack. Windies are spinning the ball and their new crop of the likes of Narine and Badree are doing it by a long way, one of the major reasons why they won the T20 title this time round.
So after three decades once again the West Indies team has re-kindled their own hopes of bringing the glorious days back and as a fan I would just love to see the old order back....the gum-chewing arrogant marauder walking to the crease waiting to hit every ball out of the park and the fiery ball-in-hand six feet and more human being at the top of the run up glaring his eyes at the man 22 yards away, intimidating him with his every move....that was real cricket of the real boys.
Darren Sammy is perhaps the most criticised captain ever but the truth is that his game plan has worked well and after the great Lloyd, he is the only world cup winning skipper. But that's not enough to make this team come anywhere near the glorious Windies teams of the past. For that, Sammy and his men have to prove at the highest level of cricket, the biggest test of their lives....the test cricket and till that happen the Gangnam dance will remain just pure antics.
More about Ashish Kumar
Ashish is video editor at CNN-IBN and IBNLokmat since May, 2008. A graduate in History from Shyam Lal College (Delhi University) in 2007, he was certified in radio and TV production from the Pioneer Media School in 2009. Ashish went on to do his post-graduation in journalism and mass communication from IGNOU and completed the same in 2011.