There are no two opinions about the fact that West Indies were the best side in the World T20, and hence deserved to take home the trophy. Darren Sammy and his men enthralled the audiences not only with their superlative cricketing abilities on their field but also with their Gangnam style celebrations. Along with the euphoria has come a newfound respect for the West Indian side. At the same time, comparisons have also begun between Sammy’s army and the great teams of the past, led by Clive Lloyd, which won two back-to-back 50-over World Cups. This is where irrational reactions are coming into play. While no one can deny this present West Indies squad their glorious place in history, placing them on par with Lloyd's men is a rather incomprehensible equivalence.
Take your mind back to the start of the tournament, and you will realise that West Indies were in fact among the strongest contenders to win the World T20. Being so, their triumph should be least surprising. The Windies win shouldn’t be viewed as some sort of a miracle performed by the West Indian cricketers. It is just the format that has made all the difference. For a 20 over per side contest, the Caribbean’s possess the most dangerous playing XI in the world. At the top is Chris Gayle, who can destroy the best of opponents on his day. The number three Marlon Samuels proved his real worth on super Sunday. In addition, they also possess extremely dangerous hitters in the form of Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell and the skipper Sammy himself. With such a bunch of talent, it shouldn’t be difficult to comprehend why West Indies emerged triumphant.
Unlike teams of the recent past, the present West Indian squad also has the X- factor in the form of mystery spinner Sunil Narine. In spite of all this, the World T20 winning members shouldn’t be compared to Lloyd’s men. For a side to be great, it is important for players to perform in each and every format of the game. The West Indian team of the 70’s and 80’s became legendary considering their ability to overpower all their opponents irrespective of whether it was a Test or an ODI. Also, they did so for a good two decades, and even though Australia had a similar reign till recently, it was the Caribbean domination that remains the ultimate benchmark of supremacy when it comes to cricket, for the simple reason that they dominated oppositions.
In comparison, Sammy and his team have won only one major ICC tournament. Again, the last time they won a precious event, the champions Trophy in 2004, there was plenty of hullabaloo about how Windies cricket could be on the path to redemption. It turned to be a false alarm though. If the present West Indies squad wants to be recognised as a great side, they need to replicate what Lloyd’s men did – a near impossible task. Till then, they can bask in the glory of the World T20 win.
--By A Cricket Analyst