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Dillon says don’t write off WI

By STEPHON NICHOLAS Tuesday, February 5 2013

click on pic to zoom in

FORMER West Indies fast bowler, Mervyn Dillon, says don’t write off the West Indies despite them trailing Australia 0-2 in their five-match One-Day International (ODI) series.

The Aussies crushed the Windies by nine wickets in the first ODI after dismissing the regional side for 70 — their third lowest ODI score.

The Darren-Sammy led team put up a better fight in the second match but still went under by 54 runs.

“If you look at our team, we’re not short of talent on our roster. With (Chris) Gayle not in top form right now (eight runs in the last two matches), it’s a negative for the team. Once our guys show up on a given day we can beat the Aussies,” he said.

Dillon believes the team has not yet gotten accustomed to the conditions Down Under but have improved with each game.

It’s difficult to get into Australia and perform immediately. Once the guys settle down and acclimatise we will get better. I wouldn’t write them off, our guys have the talent,” he declared.

The 38-year-old, now the coach of Moosai Sports Club, acknowledged that the batting has been quite abysmal for the team from the Caribbean with Gayle (4 and 4), Ramnaresh Sarwan (consecutive ducks), Kieron Pollard (0 and 1) and Devon Thomas (3 and 0) in terrible form.

Sarwan, who has not been in the regional team for quite a while, is under pressure to vindicate his spot but his former colleague believes he can still make a contribution in maroon colours. The right-hander from Guyana averages 42.75 in ODIs and 40.01 in Tests.

“He can revive his career. Sarwan was one of the best young batsmen coming out of the region and his statistics will show that. There is no question of his class and quality. He has everything needed to be successful and two knocks is not enough to judge him by,” he noted.

Asked what changes needed to be made to spark a turnaround in the ODI series, Dillon called for Bajan pacer Tino Best to be thrust into the starting eleven immediately.

“I would have thought that Tino would have been starting on this team. He has been the best fast bowler for us recently in almost all the formats. He played well in the recent Caribbean T20 as well,” the ex-TT player pointed out.

Dillon also declined to comment on whether TT wicketkeeper, Denesh Ramdin, should have been selected instead of 23-year-old Devon Thomas.

The Antiguan has yet to prove himself at the regional or international level as he does not average 23 runs at any level or in any format of the game. He averages a mere 13.78 with the bat in ODIs and 13.93 at the regional level in that format.

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