Let me begin my discourse by saying a resounding congratulations to Nicholas Pooran and his fellow West Indies players for their Twenty20 (T20) International series win over the visiting Australians.
But, despite flashes of brilliance from some West Indians, I have observed some troubling signs during the five-match series. The Aussies came to these shores with a depleted squad, minus some of their regular top T20 players, and I am sure head coach Justin Langer and his technical staff will use the opportunity to assess the strength and weaknesses of their Caribbean counterparts.
The West Indies must not be lured into a false sense of complacency believing power-hitting is the only match-winning aspect of their game. The Caribbean team has shown the likes of Evin Lewis, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Dwayne "DJ" Bravo and Andre Russell can be very destructive and can take apart any bowling attack on any given day.
Power-hitting must be tempered with regular cricket shots with some innovations at times, quick singles, and sensible reading of the game at every stage of the encounter.
One glaring example where the West Indies dropped the ball or should I say Russell was in the fourth T20 fixture against Australia where the Caribbean team was chasing 190 for victory, needing 11 in the final over with Russell and Akiel Hosein at the wicket.
Russell, on strike, turned down singles in the second and third deliveries hitting a six on the final ball as his team fell short by five runs. Had the powerfully-built Russell given Hosein the strike on the third ball, he (Russell) would have faced the fourth, fifth and sixth with nine runs needed. What a missed opportunity for the men in maroon to take a 4-nil lead in the five-match series.
Another important aspect, West Indies head coach Phil Simmons must pay particular attention to, is how his batsmen negotiate spin bowling as South Africa's Tabraiz Shamsi exposed this weakness as the Proteas came from one game down to emerge winners of that T20 series by three matches to two.
Let us not be fooled that power-hitting will see us through. Our players must be able to adapt to various situations during a game at any given time. I wish Kieron Pollard and his men all success as they defend their ICC World T20 title come October in Oman and the UAE (United Arab Emirates).
Let us be singing and dancing again!
Journalist: Astil Renn
Contact: (868) 686-2010