Windies into record books for batting double-figures...
April 10, 2012
The West Indies have become only the fifth Test team in history in which all 11 batsmen reached double figures in an innings.
The feat, however, has now been achieved only the 12th time in the long
history of Test cricket (the first occurring in December 1894 by
England), as captain Darren Sammy and his lowly-ranked West Indian team
seek a return to the glory days of the 1980s and early 1990s.
Last Sunday at Kensington Oval in Barbados, the West Indies declared at
449 for nine with all batsmen getting into double figures and Shivnarine
Chanderpaul (the only one to actually get into triple figures) hitting
his 25th Test century and fourth at the ground.
In fact, no other batsman has played more innings and amassed more runs
at Kensington Oval than 37-year-old Chanderpaul, who has played 138
Tests and is the second-longest current player in Test cricket.
Chanderpaul, who has been playing Tests since 1994, has moved up to
1,374 runs from 28 innings (16 matches) at Kensington Oval, eclipsing
Brian Lara (1,339 runs from 27 innings) and Desmond Haynes (1,210 runs
from 25 innings).
The Caribbean men have joined South Africa, Australia and India, along
with England, in which all batsmen in the innings have scored 10 or more
South Africa first achieved the batting milestone on March 10, 1906, and Australia followed suit on February 6, 1948.
India joined the elite group on December 12, 1952 and repeated the feat
in 1968, 1976, and 2007, more than any other Test nation.
West Indies' all-batsmen-in-double-figures innings was the first time
since 2007, when India struck 664 in a drawn Test against England at The
Oval in August of that year.
Now ranked as the seventh-best Test team, the West Indies have been at
number eight since the ICC Reliance Rankings was introduced in January
2003 until October 2008 when they climbed to number seven.
Since then, the West Indies have seesawed between seven and eight, with
New Zealand ready to shove them back into their familiar ranking at
eighth and above perennial cellar team Bangladesh.
By expert reckoning, the West Indies were the number one Test team from
as late as February 1993 -- August 1995, before hitting a slump and has
yet to recover.
In that period, Brian Lara, Jimmy Adams, Richie Richardson and Carl
Hooper were the chief run-getters and Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose,
Kenny Benjamin and Ian Bishop the top wicket-takers.
In order to get back to the top, the West Indies will need at mininum
two world-class bowlers, a top-of-the-line batsman and a gifted
all-rounder, with a good support cast making regular double-figures.
Without players of calibre, the West Indies will not be able to catch up Sri Lanka, the sixth-ranked Test team.
Sri Lanka already have three world-class batsmen in Kumar Sangakkara,
Thilan Samaraweera, and Mahela Jayawardena, and a world-class bowler in
Rangana Herath. With those, they will likely stay ahead of the West
Indies for a while.
But, at least, the West Indies are making an assault into the record
books and hopefully will climb their way back to the top of world
The Jamaica Observer