Well..the series between New Zealand and the West Indies is found to witness some of the great encounters, with West Indies unexpectedly putting up a tough fight against the New Zealand. This was not completely confirmed, in the first test, and, in the ongoing second test at Napier, it is pretty evident that the West Indies have realized as to what position in the world of cricket they stand today. Else, what else was possible by the West Indies team, other than improving their performance atleast a little bit? In the first test at Dunedin, West Indies fell just 15 runs short of the first innings total of 365 in the first innings. At the end, the match was forced to draw, for reasons well known. However, the West Indies did have something to prove what so ever.
And in the second test at Napier, things are pretty much clear, when West Indies tried to show what they are capeable of doing. Still, things are not satisfactory, as far as the West Indies are concerned. This because, it has been a one man show for the West Indies, not only in the ongoing series against New Zealand, but from a long period of time. It is Chanderapaul most of the time who comes in handy for West Indies, whenever their face needs to be saved. And things were no different this time either. It was Chanderapaul's unbeaten 126 that helped West Indies put up a score of 300+ in the first innings at Napier. This especially afte the retirement of Brian Lara after the world cup in 2007.
Even in the last series against Australia, it was Chandrapaul who was awarded the man of the series, despite West Indies losing the series 2-0. This was for the scores of 118 & 11, 107* & 77*, 79* & 50 in the three tests that were played. The rest of the players' discussion is meaninglss here. In the earlier tests against Sri Lanka, Chandrapaul scored 86* to level the series. May be this time for a change, there were others like Ramnaresh Sarwan and co to support this man. 118 in the first innings at Port Elizabeth had earlier seen West Indies snatch a rare win against the Proteas, only to lose the series 2-1, where Chandrapaul scored 65* & 70* at Cape Town, and in the following game he was forced to keep himself away from the Durban test.
At last, I would like to cite the scores of the same in the tests against England in May-July 2008, 74 at Lords, 50* and 126* in the third test at Manchester (after being absent for the second test), followed by 136* & 70 in the fourth test at Chester Le Street, and despite all these mind blowing performances, West Indies lose the series to England 3-0. This is only some of the many instances where it has been only Chandrapaul and the others failing miserably. This I've seen in Inzy, who in between 2004 and 2007 used to be the architect of many Pakistani wins just like Chandrapaul for West Indies. I still remember the way West Indies were crushed by England 7-0 in two four match test series in 2004, and Chandrapaul being awarded the man of the series.
I hope that now one would wonder as to why West Indies never turn out to shine and end up losing so miserably against each and every opposition. And the result could be no different with only one out of the eleven playing to his capability. For, there are players like Sarwan and Gayle who can with the bat, and Edwards who can with the ball. And imagining the fate of West Indies cricket with Chandrapaul retiring?