So West Indies have gone ahead and dropped Sarwan, Chanderpaul and Gayle. (In some way, this clarifies Gayle’s post-World Cup tweet, when he seemed to at once accept blame for the West Indies’ defeat, but also dismiss it.)
My knowledge of Otis Gibson and the various machinations of the WICB is spotty at best, but this seems like another chapter in human resource management, a topic that has become increasingly interesting to me. I ask once more: why do some teams ‘gel,’ and not others? Why did Greg Chappell fail as a coach (and Dravid as captain), only to see Dhoni (one of his main picks) go on, embrace his same strategy (invest in youth = Raina, Kohli, Gambhir) and succeed?
In the West Indies’ case, it seems the Big Three acted just as India’s Big Three don’t (see the Chuck Fleetwood-Smiths, Ep. 6, for more on this line of argument). The idea is that they are making it harder for Gibson to remake the team and give it some sort of solidity. You can’t do that if three players resist and, to follow the Pakistani lingo, begin to form ‘factions.’ But at the same time, it doesn’t seem like Gary Kirsten cares all that much if, say, Virender Sehwag plays ‘for the team’ or himself. There are two theories with ‘senior batsmen’: one is that they prevent younger talent from emerging, and they are too big for a team sport. The other is that they shelter younger talent, allowing it to mature slowly, while anchoring the side.
Clearly, all senior batsmen go from one side to the other (Ricky Ponting is only the latest example). But it’s a mysterious process that decides who’s where on this curve.