Clive Lloyd, the West Indies chairman of selectors says the visitors haven’t had enough time in South Africa to prepare for the tour. ‘
I’ve always wanted two four-day games in the tour,’ said Clive Lloyd. ‘I’ve said that to the West Indies (Cricket Board) and the ICC. I think one game is not enough.’
The visitors played only one three-day game, against an invitational side, in Benoni before the first Test and even there, rain cut proceedings short . The quality of the opposition was such that the West Indians bowled them out for 125, with Sheldon Cottrell returning 5 for 16. Devon Smith (174) and Marlon Samuels (203) then played big knocks before retiring out as the West Indians scored 508, and there was only enough time for 6.2 more overs in the second innings of the local squad, in which they scored 17 without loss.
Interestingly, apart from Smith and Samuels, the rest of the West Indian top six – Kraigg Brathwaite, Leon Johnson, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Jermaine Blackwood – totalled only 16 runs between them.
‘I think we should’ve had at least three games surrounding this Test match,’ said Lloyd. ‘That way, if someone is out of form, they can go into a four-day game and get back into it. You can’t tell if a player is doing well in the nets.
‘Most of the tours are crammed. You’re playing 50-over games, T20s, it’s a lot of cricket and your body can only take so much. That’s why we’re seeing so many injuries. Nicely spaced-out tours would be best for me.’
With just five players over 30 in their squad, an extended schedule would have helped the West Indian selectors greater insight, argued Lloyd. ‘It’s also about young players, because you want them to have a game and see what they have. We just jump into a country and then we’re gone,’ he said. ‘You can’t groom players anymore. You want to try out a few youngsters. I’m not saying you have to have 10 games, but just enough that young players will get a chance.’