West Indies coach defends Hinds selection
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
West Indies coach Ottis Gibson said Tuesday batsman Wavell Hinds would bring maturity and leadership to the regional squad, as he offered a resolute defence of the 33-year-old's surprise selection for the upcoming World Twenty20 Championship.
Hinds was last week included in a 15-man side for the April 30 to May 16 tournament at the expense of several younger players, sparking speculation over the reasons behind his selection.
Gibson, a member of the selection panel along with chairman Clyde Butts, Robert Haynes and Raphick Jumadeen, said Hinds was a good option because of his level-headed batting and experience.
"The Wavell Hinds selection was based on the fact that if we pick the youngster - sometimes we tend to do that in the Caribbean - and sometimes we expect a lot from him, sometimes too much in my opinion," Gibson told reporters at a media conference here.
"This is a one-off tournament and that selection was based on if we need him in a one-off tournament. If we need to make changes, Wavell Hinds can come in, he's got the experience. He was in the team the last time the West Indies won a major tournament so he's got that experience.''
He added: "He's just been playing in England at Derby, so he's got some valuable T20 experience but he's also got a cool head on him.
"If we need somebody like that who can come in and make a difference to the team and have impact, we feel that he can do that better than exposing a youngster and expecting too much from him at this point in time."
Hinds' selection was even more surprising following his abject failures on the one-day tour of Australia earlier this year, scoring 20, 5, 11 and 0 in his four innings.
He was overlooked on the return to the Caribbean for the five ODIs as selectors drafted in younger players to contest the series.
Gibson said selectors believed the younger players had a role to perform in West Indies cricket but they had opted for experience with the Hinds move.
"We have some very good youngsters that we feel will play a major part in West Indies cricket in coming years - Adrian Barath, young (Darren) Bravo - and these guys we feel will give a lot to West Indies cricket in the coming years but at the moment ... because it's a one-off situation that's the way the selectors went," said Gibson.
"It obviously hasn't been met by approval from everybody but we're comfortable with the decision that we've made."
All-rounders David Bernard Jr, Lendl Simmons and Dwayne Smith, all of whom represented West Indies recently, were overlooked for the squad.
Smith's non-selection, especially, raised some eyebrows. He was one of the leading performers on the one-day tour of Australia but was dropped following his rash shot in the first ODI against Zimbabwe in Guyana last month when West Indies plunged to an embarrassing two-run defeat.
Gibson said Smith had shown a lack of maturity despite being around international cricket for a while and did not display the composure required in tense situations.
Selecting the best team
"Nobody has gone through the window. When you sit down in a selection room and you try to come up with the best possible team (you want) the guys who will think calmly under pressure, the guys that will make decisions based on what's best for the team ... and then you have to ask questions about Dwayne and the selectors felt that Dwayne hasn't handled pressure very well when he's played for West Indies," Gibson said.
"The difference between the Dwayne selection and the Wavell selection is that Wavell has matured a lot as a cricketer, has shown a lot of leadership in Jamaica and he's somebody if we think if it came to the crunch, Wavell, as he's been showing for Jamaica in the last couple of years, he will stay calm, he will think calmly under pressure and that will enable him to make better decisions.
"Dwayne has been playing for a long time and as you saw in Guyana, under pressure he hasn't shown he's matured enough to make good decisions yet and that's something he's got to sit down and look at as a player."
Prior to his recall, Hinds had not played for West Indies since 2006 when his last six innings yielded just 40 runs.