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Too many cooks

LEADERS OF THE PACK: Bravo Ramdin and Sammy (right) lead the West Indies in cricket’s different formats

THE NEWS that Denesh Ramdin is to replace Darren Sammy as West Indies Test captain had this correspondent shaking his head.

It is hardly replacing like-for-like as Sammy’s career has been signposted with dynamic displays with bat, ball and in the field.

Sammy, the first St. Lucian to play for the West Indies, can hardly look back at perfect tenure but he, alongside coach Otis Gibson, had seemingly sowed positive seeds for the future.

Ramdin, however, has been less explosive during a fluctuating career. His glove work has been tidy but the other aspects if his game clearly need to be honed, even more so if he is now the leader of men in the ultimate form of the game.

The diminutive keeper has loads of experience but like most involved with the region’s cricket team over the last few decades, he is hugely inconsistent.

He has 56 Tests, 109 one-day internationals and 46 T20 internationals to his name but still cannot be described as a fixture in the side.

The fact that a vibrant leader such as Sammy – he led the team to World T20 success two years ago – has been replaced by a cricketer who is reliable but not outstanding has the real possibility of taking the sport in the region back a notch or two.

The Windies now have three captains at international level as Dwayne Bravo – who inexplicably cannot get into the Test set up – leads the one-day side while Sammy will still captain the T20 side.

It is a case of too many cooks. Surely that can only lead to unwanted confusion as the team, which has slowly but surely shaken off medicocrity, looks to take an upward spiral.

A look at England will confirm that too many captains can muddy the waters. They too, had a captain for virtually every format of the game. In recent times they have gone back to basics.

For some, Ramdin’ s greatest claim to fame arrived two years ago after he was fined 20 per cent of his match fee after marking his century at Lord’s against England by displaying a public message to Sir Vivian Richards.

The West Indies wicketkeeper held up a note that said "Yeah Viv, talk nah," in an apparent response to criticism.

If criticism is not his thing, Ramdin had better get used to it or avoid the heat of the Test kitchen.

As the new captain of a team that has struggled at the highest level, expression of disapproval is an essential part of the deal.

Trinidad-born Ramdin's first assignment will be the home series against New Zealand which begins on June 8.

May the force – and the team – be with him.

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