Even as they destroyed Sri Lanka’s dream of winning the ICC World T20 on their home ground, the West Indians showed that they were not a one man team and that a team effort can take you far. There is no doubt whatsoever that ever since Chris Gayle came back to the side there has been a different look about the West Indies team.
Gone was the morose, sullen looking bunch of players who looked burdened on the field and in came a happy group who revelled in each other’s success and even if there was failure were not pointing at their team mates but shrugging their shoulders and getting on with the game.
Gayle may not have succeeded as a captain for these very reasons of being too laid back and too cool by far, but that attitude rubbed off positively on the others as they went out to play a sport that they love and they are good at and in doing so they conveyed the enjoyment to the others.
It is not just the celebrations that were seen after the win but just the simple joy of the contest between bat and ball that Gayle brought to the team. All those who stymied his comeback to the team need to hang their heads in shame for they wasted some valuable years and the earlier rejuvenation of West Indies cricket.
The win also showed that the West Indians had put aside the differences that exist in their society and fielded what they genuinely believed were the best men on the ground. So Ravi Rampaul, who most afro-West Indians don't rate too highly compared to Fidel Edwards and Kemar Roach came good in just about every game he played picking wickets and giving the early breakthroughs.
The delivery that got Dilshan was a beauty that would have challenged the best in the business and the first seed of doubt was planted in the Sri Lankan minds with that dismissal. Then once their reliable duo of Jayawardene and Sangakkara were dismissed there was no experience to back them up. Sri Lanka’s decision not to include the talented Chandimal and also to persist in giving the final over to Kulasekara backfired on them.
Kulasekera was the one who brought India back in the finals of the ICC World Cup last year bowling those full tosses at his gentle pace which Dhoni crashed to all parts of the ground. That he still feels that it is a delivery that can stop the runs doesn’t speak much about the coach of the team for it has been proven time and again that unless a bowler is bowling over 145 kph, the low full toss is just an invitation to be hammered.
One feels sorry for the Lankans who did a terrific job as hosts and who were hoping that their fourth final in less than a decade would go their way. It didn’t but there is no doubt that all those who came to this lovely country went back with memories of some great cricket and hospitality second to none.
Professional Management Group