The fecklessnesslessness of the West Indies

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2 minute read

No, it’s not a typo. We were just thinking of how this current West Indies side operates and how it’s completely different to the feckless outfits of recent years. We’re struck by their fecklessnesslessness.

They’re still not winning much

But they’re not winning in a far more impressive way. They seem closer to getting their act together, even if the style of play doesn’t have much in common with many people’s romantic notions of calypso cricket.

The batting is stodgy and the bowling is disciplined and the latter is actually becoming rather effective, even if the former isn’t. There’s a relentlessness about the team’s general approach that makes you feel like you’re watching actual Test cricket.

It’s not spectacular

But you get the impression that things are genuinely tough for the opposition. Not so long ago, West Indies batsmen favoured the mindless waft and the bowlers got bored and explored the netherland between bouncer and long-hop. That’s not really true any more.

And is it really so different an approach from the great West Indies teams that now seem to mist people’s eyes? As fast bowling has declined, perhaps we remember the art as being more spectacular than it actually was. The Windies sides of yore tended to bowl a large proportion of their deliveries at the batsman’s heart. It was eye-catchingly brutal, but it was essentially an attritional approach.

True, brutally attritional is more exciting than Darren Sammy’s dot ball obsessed use of angles, but Kemar Roach and Fidel Edwards are hardly trundlers and they have spinners now as well. Spinners! Playing for the Windies!

Worth watching

The West Indies are an intriguing team at the minute and while that might not be headline-grabbing stuff, when headlines feature words like ‘fecklessnesslessness’ maybe we should focus more on the main body of the text anyway.


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  1. “We’re struck by their fecklessnessless.”

    Their fecklessnessless what? It’s an adjective. You’d never say “We’re struck by their feckless.” So surely you mean fecklessnesslessness, or maybe even fecklesslessness.

    Honestly, this website gets less incomprehensionlessnessable every day.

    1. Oh brilliant, thanks! It looks now like I’m pointing out a problem that only exists inside my head, like some sort of Daily Mail reader.

  2. Googling “fecklessnesslessness” provided ONE result. Which means a.) GOOGLEWHACK and b.) you need to conscript someone to do some SEO for you, oh King, because you didn’t even feature in the list of one.

  3. Even at their peak, the Windies still used spinners. granted they were part-timers in Sir Viv and Carl Hooper (right at the end of their dominant spell), but they weren’t totally averse to them. Not quite Ramadin and Valentine, I admit…

  4. Say what you want, but I am always disappointed when I see someone whose vertical measure is upwards of six feet trudge in and twirl his arm.

  5. I would also bet that several of those ‘fast’ bowlers were bowlers who typically operated in the high 80’s with their effort balls being over 90 rather than 90 plus all the time…

    Certainly if you look at that video of the fast bowling competition that Jeff Thomson won back in the late 70’s (doubts over the veracity of the speed gun aside – but what’s changed there really!) most were there.

    I think the speed element gets exaggerated perhaps. Not to take anything away from the quality though!

    1. We’d agree with that. Taller bowlers are often given credit for pace they don’t necessarily have because the bounce adds another layer of ‘aaaargh’.

  6. I don’t agree that the West Indies c. 1980 were attritional, though. All that short-pitched 90mph stuff wasn’t there to bore batsmen into a loose shot. It was there to scare the willies (*) out of them. As one of them says in that DVD you advertise (excellent film, buy yours here today), if a batsman is thinking about how much the next ball might hurt, based on his experience from the previous ball, he isn’t thinking about how to score runs. I’d be interested to see how many wickets WI got with yorkers against batsmen trapped on the back foot because they’re terrified of playing forward.

    The only way you’ll get hurt from a Darren Sammy delivery is by overstretching to reach it.

    (*) That’s a figure of speech. As far as I know, the tactic wasn’t aimed at exorcising an army of front-on Geordie batsmen from inside international players.

    1. Fire In Babylon? Highly recommended. Well, aside from the David Frith segment from the extras.

  7. Would their fecklessnnsndenensmjdensnsdkslllss be reduced if half their team wasn’t cocking around in the silly indian thing?

    1. Even he doesn’t know.

      “Season finished now….what’s next for the tall man” – Sulieman Benn, via Twitter.

  8. It’s simple. Aussies are crap(oh! The joy of being able to type this, and not feel embarassed at your wet-dream being outed!). England will show up West Indies’s fecklessnesslessnesslessness during this summer.

  9. It looks like the feckles have returned though. They do seem incapable of dealing with the new Aussie tactic of reversing the entire batting order.

  10. Shiv has just reached the 10,000 mark with a trademark nurdle into the legside, and with that brings his test average up to 50.00. A fantastic player among mediocrity.

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