Chris Ram Jr: 30 years of support and hurt as a Windies’ fan

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By Akeem Greene   

For the cricket loving fans in Guyana, they went to bed on Wednesday evening, hoping Windies could produce a better showing against powerhouses India.

But for those who missed the alarm clock, they awoke with the match completed; India hammered the visitors by nine wickets after rattling them out for 104 in 31.5 overs. The entire match expired in less than 50 overs, 46.4 to be exact.

Given Windies performances over the last decade, losing has become a norm, but the turnaround the many captains proclaim will occur for once, then it’s back to old ways.

They gave the number two ranked One Day International team a run for their money at home. That race ended in the fourth ODI, where an undoubtedly talented bunch of players went back to the regime of losing, causing more heartbreak for fans.

Karthik Krishnaswamy, a journalist attached to ESPNCricinfo, stated in the opening paragraph of his match report, “So promising across the first three ODIs, West Indies’ batting unravelled when a share of the series was still up for grabs. Having been bowled out for 153 on a flat Brabourne deck in the fourth ODI, the visitors did even worse on a trickier pitch in Thiruvananthapuram, folding for 104 after choosing to bat first.”

So you got the recent history of the see-saw performances, now hear the pain of a loyal fan, Christopher Ram Jr.

“This one cuts quite deep, considering that we were relatively competitive in the first three ODIs. At that point we were still in the series inspire of the fantastic VK [Virat Kohli] performances. A lot of people would have been optimistic at that point. However, having supported WI cricket for close to 30 years, many fans probably expected some sort of WI demise. For me, it’s not about being beaten, it was just how roundly they were beaten in the last two games.”

Ram Jr, who is widely known for his satirical analysis of Windies cricket on social media, further stated, “This may seem like a cop out, but in those last two games everything went wrong. The entire series changed with the two run outs in the fourth game. Even with India’s big score we should have at least got to the 250-run mark. I think losing by 224 broke any confidence and momentum that they would have had.”

Despite the glorious uncertainties that come with Windies cricket, the 36 year-old plans on continuing to rally around the Caribbean side.

Ram’s advice for Holder

“I don’t have an issue with [Jason] Holder as a captain, but sometimes he lets the game meander along. He just needs to be more proactive with his decision making. I do think Holder needs to come up the order, and maybe [Shimron] Hetmyer as well. I also think Mushtaq [Ahmed] giving the WI six months a year [as assistant coach] will be a good thing because some players struggled against the spinners.”

The Cricket World Cup is seven months away and based on the pattern of the maroons, there is no certainty which 15-man squad will make the trip, more so who will be the coach. India, on the other hand, used the series a gauge to see who will comprise their playing XI. It’s an indication of the gulf between these two teams.

“We have changed captains, coaches, players over the years. For me, I think we need to change how we approach the game; the England model is something to look just because they were considered slow and boring before, and a few years later they are must see,” Ram Jr posited.

Despite the glorious uncertainties that come with Windies cricket, the 36 year-old plans on continuing to rally around the Caribbean side.

“For many it’s what we grew up supporting and on any given day this team can do amazing things. Those days are few and far between, but we can still hope, that they do eventually turn that famous corner.”

Windies will look for respite in their favoured T20 format with three matches, first of which is Sunday in Kolkata.

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