Who will win WI/India one-day series?
What the People say about...
By Andre Haynes
Stabroek News
November 18, 2002

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With the current one-day series between the West Indies and India interestingly poised at 2-2 in high-scoring encounters, we asked the man\woman-in-the-street for their views on who they thought would win, the performance of the current West Indies team and its prospects for next year's World Cup in South Africa.

Nicholas Edghill - student: `I think they should get more penetrative bowling. The batting is strong, especially the middle order: (Ramnaresh) Sarwan and (Shivnarine) Chanderpaul. (Christopher) Gayle and (Wavell) Hinds also. And (Carl) Hooper is setting a great example as captain but I think he should live up to his responsibility as a batsman. Even if he doesn't score in one match he has to start looking to score in the next. I see their chances of winning as 50-50 because India is playing in India. Playing at home is a boost of confidence for them and they have the crowd behind them. Look at what happened in the last game, they had to make 325 and they were 231 for five when Sanjay Bangar came in. And he was out but the umpire mistakenly did not give him out. They are in India what do you expect. I think India have a good chance, they have a strong batting line-up, both teams have strong batting line-ups but India's bowling is weak. I back the West Indies whether they lose or win and remember that cricket is a game of gross uncertainties. And once they bat second I think the West Indies will win, because all the wickets in India are batsmen-friendly. As for the World Cup I see us in the top five -semi-finals - but our bowling needs to improve. They should bring back Darren Powell and Jermaine Lawson. I think the West Indies need a little sting in their attack, they don't have the pace and aggressiveness that Powell and Lawson showed in the Test matches.'

Rosanna Persaud - housewife: 'West Indies will win. I think we have great batsmen, like Chanderpaul, Hooper and Sarwan. And at least if India bat first we have a good chance because the West Indian batsmen like chasing runs. But we don't have good bowlers at all. They need to use (Mahendra) Nagamootoo again because I think he could bowl better. The bowlers, I don't think they have length or line to bowl straight to the wicket. (Curtly) Ambrose and (Courtney) Walsh, they could have limited the runs. As for the crowd, Oh God! We can't say bad. We have to use a next word for it. One game, two games, three games played and I can remember Michael Holding's words, he said we behaved like hooligans and he would never come back to Guyana. They behaved worse than hooligans. This is cricket, this is a sport, they can't behave like that. In the third test match, they needed 101 in 22 overs. You can't tell what would have happened in those last overs, how many wickets could have fallen. Cricket is a game that isn't over until the last ball is bowled. I think we have a pretty good side that is prepared for the World Cup but the bowlers, they need to find length and line. I don't think they need to make any changes, unless they could get Walsh and Ambrose. They should carry the same team, but the bowlers need to be more consistent.'

Marva Mason - teacher: `They cheated us but I am hoping that we can still win. The umpire's decisions and the crowd behaviour, it's not nice. If it was in Guyana we would have been named hooligans and all the names they could think of. That type of behaviour it's not good for the cricketers. But our boys don't give up easily and they are batting well and they are fielding. They are doing their best. But I think we have to beef up the bowling on the whole and they have to tighten their fielding. We stand a good chance and we are still a strong team despite what they are going through.'

Imtiaz Ally - contractor: `I think the West Indies will win now that they have improved their batting line-up. It's just the bowling that is failing right now. For a long time the West Indies were not making those kind of runs. But the bowling right now isn't ready. Since Walsh and Ambrose left we haven't had any outstanding bowling because they keep on changing them [the bowlers]. What is really sickening is the crowd. As a sportsman you must expect to win and lose and accept it. We have a good chance of beating India and we also have a good chance in the World Cup, it's just the bowling. I think we could win if we did something about the bowling. They have to work on it.'

Lorrain Barbour - joiner\carpenter: `I think the West Indies are showing off themselves a bit. They are allowing those people to take advantage of them. I hope they will win. I have a lot of confidence and the boys are playing. The batsmen especially, all the batsmen are pulling their weight, but they need to bowl a little better. India has a strong batting line-up. The crowd behaviour is terrible. Just imagine they are winning games and they are pelting the field with bottles. Maybe they don't understand, I can't see I am winning a game and behaving like that. Somebody said there should be a net placed around the ground and I think so too. As for our chances in the World Cup, yes man we stand a good chance. As I said before, the boys are playing well now but you know people have a habit if they win today they praise them and if you lose tomorrow they curse you. They need your support and without that, it's discouraging. Even when they come home people are shouting things at them. They should be more supportive for the team.'

Dhanraj Sewsankar - student: `I think India will win because they have a better batting line-up. Only two persons are performing for the West Indies: Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan. The other batsmen are not contributing as much. And there is only one person bowling for the West Indies and that is Mervyn Dillon. He is doing a good job. I think Jermaine Lawson should be placed on the team as well as Vasbert Drakes and Darren Powell. It should be Dillon, (Vasbert) Drakes, Lawson and Powell. I think if the crowd behave bad the next time they should give the West Indies the game because it's unfair to the players and it's hurting the players. In the World Cup we should stand a chance. Based upon our last performance against New Zealand I can see we are improving now and I would consider their performance against India unacceptable. But we can't go with the bowlers we have now. It wouldn't be a difficult wicket that is why I would send four pace bowlers to play.'

Ronita Pryce - housewife: I don't think the West Indies will win. I look at the environment and it's tough to play in an environment like that. The crowd, their attitude, it wasn't right. I was wondering what we could do to avoid such things. It's a disgrace. The bowlers are not doing a good job, they bowl too many "sweet balls." I call them sweet balls because I could bat the balls those guys bowl. The bowling is definitely a problem. As for the batting, the West Indies could do better. The whole team, although I think Sarwan is excellent. But we just need to pray for our team and whether they win or lose we need to give them support and encouragement. They need our encouragement. I guess we could get a miracle in the World Cup.'

H.P Ramnauth - private sector employee: `I like West Indies to win, our batting is clicking but we have to concentrate more on our bowling. We have them on tour and we have to make do with them. Nagamootoo got some blows but you have to expect these things to happen. I think Hooper should use other spinners, makeshift spinners like (Marlon) Samuels. But what I don't like is the crowd behaviour, it blurs the boys' concentration. You are in a strange country and it affects your concentration. They should be sporting fans. In the West Indies you don't find these things happening.
With regards to the World Cup as I said before our batting is clicking, our bowlers just have to work a little harder and the fielding is also a bit shoddy. The catches leave a lot to be desired. Take the catches! This is professional cricket. I think we can reach to the top again.'

Bridget Gordon - businesswoman: `I think West Indies still have a chance because of our batting. We are fighting hard to win. Our bowling is poor though and I think Reon King should be put in the team or Neil McGarrell. I feel we still stand a chance and we stand a chance in the World Cup if we could get (Brian) Lara back in the game. I think Hooper should carry the team to the next World Cup because when they are under pressure he usually does his best.'

Mike Harris - managing director Graphic News: `I think India will win the series based on their performance in the fourth match. They made those runs and I didn't think they could do that. And because the West Indies lost that match it will boost India's confidence. The West Indies batting is standing up good, the batsmen are performing but the bowling is fairly alright and the fielding is bad. They are dropping catches.
In the area of fielding they need to make a lot of improvements and that is what needs to be done to win the Series. The batsmen are coming to form at the right time and if the bowling and fielding hold up we stand a good chance of winning the World Cup.'

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