By Amlan Chakraborty
SOUTHAMPTON, England (Reuters) – The West Indies team under Jason Holder have failed to understand English conditions and paid the price for their one-dimensional tactics of trying to bounce out oppositions, Caribbean great Clive Lloyd has said.
Holder’s men are left with mathematical chances of reaching the semi-finals after their third loss in five matches against Bangladesh earlier this week.
Two-time champions West Indies posted 321-8 at Taunton but Bangladesh chased down the target with 8.3 overs to spare to clinch the high-scoring contest.
“I was disappointed with the West Indies performance against Bangladesh,” Lloyd, who captained West Indies to World Cup triumphs in 1975 and 1979, wrote in a column for the International Cricket Council.
“It would appear that they only have one way to play with no variation to their game plan. They are trying to blast people out and I don’t think they understand the English conditions.
“You cannot always do that here because the pitches during this competition have been batsman-friendly despite the rain. It might be green but it doesn’t always fly around.
“Bangladesh were ready for that sort of onslaught and to chase down 320 with eight overs to spare is a great effort, but it is poor cricket by the West Indies.”
West Indies beat Pakistan in their opener but suffered a narrow defeat in their match against Australia when they failed to chase down a 289-run target.
“They have themselves to blame if they miss the semi-finals, they should have beaten Australia and they definitely should have seen off Bangladesh as well. But the Bangladesh side did their homework and deserved their victory,” Lloyd said.
The former captain has high hopes from top order duo of Evin Lewis and Shai Hope both of whom got half-centuries against Bangladesh.
“Shai Hope has been playing extremely well for quite a while since he has arrived on the international scene. And it was good to see Evin Lewis get a score at last. I think he is a terrific cricketer,” Lloyd said.
“If you have been getting out for small scores, and then get to 70, it is imperative that you cash in. Evin should have got to 130 in the same way that guys like (Australians) David Warner and Aaron Finch have been doing.”
Irrespective of whether they make the semi-finals, Lloyd said, the team need to do well in the remaining matches beginning with Saturday’s match against an unbeaten New Zealand side.
“There is still a mathematical chance that the West Indies can make the semi-finals,” he added.
“And even though it is looking increasingly unlikely, it is absolutely vital that they try and finish the tournament on a high note.”
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in Southampton; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)