Huge gulf between Australia and tourists leaves CWI searching for answers to stop the recent rot
Alzarri Joseph’s five wickets in the 2nd Test against Australia couldn’t mask the fact that the West Indies have become a laughing stock in the sport that they used to dominate.
The Antiguan pacer managed to grab some valuable wickets at the Adelaide Oval but the woeful Windies were crushed within four days, suffering their heaviest-ever Test defeat on Sunday (11 December).
An embarrassing 419-run defeat, which included their lowest-ever Test total in Australia, will be hard to swallow for both fans of the Caribbean side and Cricket West Indies (CWI).
Although the Windies were forced to play with a patched-up set of bowlers because of injuries, the hosts were so sublime with the bat in both Tests that it would have taken someone very special to make a difference. Only a pair of late wickets for Joseph in Adelaide gave the bowlers any credibility, with his five wickets costing an average of 53 runs.
Australia hit cruise control to steam to 511-7 before declaring, with Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith once more making a mockery of the Windies.
The agony continued for the tourists who were whittled out for 214. The Aussies never took their foot off the pedal, steaming to 199-2 to declare and then destroying the sorry-looking Windies for a pitiful total of 77.
This hefty defeat surpassed their innings and 283-run humiliation to England in 2007. CWI, who saw the Windies stumble out of the T20 World Cup and swept aside in two Tests Down Under, have to dramatically improve things before the West Indies tackle tours of Zimbabwe and South Africa in early 2023.
Skipper Kraigg Braithwaite, who notched his 11th Test century in the opening clash, was not lost for words despite the abysmal overall display by the tourists.
He admitted: “This was a bad game for sure, but it’s not the end of the world. We have a lot of Test cricket to play next year, so we have to look ahead.
“Disappointing second game for sure. We showed some fight in the first [Test]. We lost a few guys to injury but did not play well, we didn’t show any fight at all.
“Australia will always be a strong team at home, but the key from experiences is to learn from them. We need to learn from their batters about leaving, and how their bowlers bowled to their fields.
“I want to lead this team from the front, especially with the bat, that’s my job. As a group we have the talent, we have the ability. It’s for us to believe in ourselves and you learn from all the challenges you go through. I look forward to coming again [to Australia] in the future.”
There was never any question as to whether the West Indies would bag their first Test success in Australia since 1997. They arrived Down Under unbeaten in five Tests throughout the year, which included a trio of successive triumphs, but were brushed aside by opposition who were hungry for success while the tourists were simply terrible with both bat and ball.
1st Test | Australia beat WI by 164 runs
Australia 598-4 dec & 182-2 dec
WI 283 & 333
2nd Test | Australia beat WI by 419 runs
Australia 511-7 dec & 199-2 dec
WI 214 & 77
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