Just three days before the first one-dayer between India and the West Indies in Kochi, former Caribbean legend Clive Lloyd said Darren Sammy's team "looked drunk" in the recent two-match Test series that saw Sachin Tendulkar retiring from international cricket. West Indies lost both the Tests at Eden Gardens and Wankhede Stadium by an innings and the matches finished inside three days.
Sunil Gavaskar called the West Indians a "club side" and in a recent chat with NDTV called the current team "the worst ever to have visited India." Lloyd, speaking at function in Pune on Monday, said the West Indian players lacked the skill to play spin and an overdose of T20 cricket seemed to be affecting the way Chris Gayle and party applied themselves in the longer format of the game.
"T20 hangover? I think they looked drunk. I personally believe that T20 is something that brings people to the game, brings money to players and if it's doing that then you have to stick with it. However, a diet of too much T20 can be very harmful," Lloyd told The Indian Express.
Although West Indies won six Tests against teams ranked lower than them in the ICC rankings, their performance in the Tendulkar farewell series left a lot to be desired. The credibility of a team that ruled Test cricket under men like Lloyd, Vivian Richards and Michael Holding has plummeted and many see the Caribbeans as a team suited only for limited overs cricket.
"I believe T20 is an exhibition while Test cricket is an examination. If you can separate them, then it is absolutely fine. However, I don't want the first thing that young players want to learn is to hit the ball out of the ground. Proper technique and the vital rudiments of the game are very important," Lloyd said.
According to Lloyd, West Indies lack the balance needed to face big teams like India. Unfortunately, West Indian bowling, once the team's biggest asset, has lost sting and Lloyd feels it's a big setback. Reflecting on the Test series, Lloyd said: "We really missed quality bowlers. We were short on penetrative bowling. I believe that any side you choose, be it ODI or Test, it needs to have balance. Sadly, there is no visible balance in this side."
There has been much criticism about the composition of the West Indian team with players like Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Narine and Kieron Pollard failing to make the Indian tour party. Lloyd, like Brian Lara, is clearly worried with the health of West Indian cricket.