ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) — Legendary former captain and batting maestro, Sir Vivian Richards, has labelled West Indies’ fielding as “amateurish” and said the Caribbean side could ill afford to be so poor in the field especially since their batting was not yet up to scratch.
Speaking against the backdrop of the recent 2-0 whitewash on the Test tour of New Zealand, Sir Viv said the lapses in the field were clear signs the concentration of West Indies players was also lacking.
“When you hear that you’re playing at that particular level, the catches that we are dropping are amateurish stuff because you cannot have a team that maybe cannot put bat to ball on a regular basis and continue to be dropping all those catches,” said Sir Viv, the only West Indies captain never to lose a Test series.
“If it’s one thing you do, is make sure you continue to concentrate as hard as you can so you can see right around the board that we are not concentrating as well as we should,” he added in a radio interview here.
West Indies suffered a chastening tour of New Zealand, losing the three-match Twenty20 International series, 2-0, before also going down by the same margin in the Test series.
The longest format was where West Indies found life particularly difficult, losing the first Test in Hamilton earlier this month by an innings and 134 runs before losing the second Test in Wellington by an innings and 12 runs.
Henry Nicholls struck a superb 174 in the second Test, but was dropped five times en route to his career-best score.
New Zealand piled up 519 for seven in Hamilton and 460 all out at the Basin Reserve as West Indies four-pronged pace attack struggled despite the encouragement of grassy pitches in both matches.
Speedster Shannon Gabriel topped the wickets tally with six wickets, while Alzarri Joseph, the youngest member of the regular attack, claimed four.
Sir Viv was critical of the way Joseph was being utilised in the attack, contending he needed to be introduced earlier.
“I think sometimes he should even have the ball before Jason (Holder) because you can’t be having a young man like that at that particular stage and not using him,” pointed out Sir Viv, the finest batsman of his time.
“So I just don’t believe he’s being handled particularly right at this time.”
Joseph, 24, was one of the heroes of the West Indies Under-19s side that won the 2016 ICC Youth World Cup in Bangladesh.
He made his international debut later that year and has so far taken 32 wickets from 13 Tests and 48 from 28 One-Day Internationals