West Indies v Australia: DJ Bravo and Chris Gayle head for sunset in blaze of glory

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NICK HOWSON: Who knows if this will be the last time the 2012 and 2016 promotions will be seen together. But it’s a good time to think about the fun

Sports don’t really make fairytale outings. After all, it is the greatest unscripted drama available on the planet. There’s a reason streaming services are trying to get bigger and sports movies are on the rise. He cannot easily cope with sentimentality, those are the variables involved.

In many ways, this legendary core of West Indies players, survivors of T20 World Cup victories in 2012 and 2016, were already assured of a disappointing exit from the competition after a poor campaign in the group stage. Staying in the ICC top eight was the extent of their ambitions on the final leg of the farewell tour. And you claim having fun was even above that.

Like any large group, group or team, the last few weeks have been too many for this Windies team. They approached the Super 12s as their two winning campaigns in the 2010s, either absorbing deliveries or trying to hit them on the rope and hoping for fast and intense bowling and the absence of a spinner. world class will suffice.

In the most sophisticated era of T20 cricket, they looked well below the required standard. It has been five long years since Kolkata and Ben Stokes. While their heroes have remained, the rest of the sport has evolved. Hip-thrusts, Gangnam Style and “Remember the Name! Are good memories but they are returns to another era. They embody exactly what this team is: ultimately outdated.

The hitters lacked discipline and the ability to pick their shots. A bowling attack without Sunil Narine and Fabian Allen has taken 14 wickets in five games and most have gone to over eight. It is a doomed combination.

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Dwayne Bravo confirmed his international retirement before playing

“All of these guys, what they’ve done for T20 cricket over the years is just amazing,” captain Kieron Pollard said before playing. “It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t get this last round to move on to the next phase of the tournament. It’s emotional for some.”

If this is the last time the Experienced Core assembles in Maroon, we’ve at least got a package of Top Achievements. Chris Gayle lifted two deliveries over the Upset Border to a perfectly reasonable length. Pollard played the role of the perfect finisher at 44 of 31. Andre Russell hit a six from 111 yards and Dwayne Bravo mixed things up during his emotional times.

On the other end of the scale, there were shady runs, inadequate commissioning, and long deliveries that were punished. It was a back-catalog that dominated this format, in one way or another, for almost a decade.

T20 WORLD CUP TEAM GUIDES

Afghanistan

Australia

Bangladesh

England

India

Ireland

Namibia

Netherlands

New Zealand

Oman

Pakistan

Papua New Guinea

Scotland

South Africa

Sri Lanka

West Indies

Like every long farewell, it would inevitably end with a certain stall. Similar to all of their batting efforts in this tournament, the performance (157 for 7) was below what was really required. Australia, with an eye on the abacus and the events in Sharjah where England face South Africa, knocked them out with aplomb.

It seems fair to give time to this West Indies team and their outgoing superstars. The immediate future could be painful and that will start with the need to qualify for the Super 12 in a few years. However, these questions can wait.

As of this writing, Bravo is the only confirmed drummer to bow out of international cricket. A versatile who has become a specialist in death bowling. Having initially wanted to reflect the performances of the hero Brian Lara, it is with the ball that he will probably be remembered the most. Never the type to shirk a challenge, on and off the pitch, his country did not always respect him as it should.

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Chris Gayle received the applause – but will we see him again?

“For me, cricket has always been my childhood dream,” he said. “I always wanted to represent the region and by extension follow in the footsteps of my childhood hero Brian (Lara) so it’s good that I was able to have a successful career. I have no regrets, I’m happy to leave the game at this point. “

As for the others, the future is less clear. Chris Gayle left the field to a standing ovation, hugged his teammates, signed gloves and had a blast in the outfield. But it looked like any Gayle outing in the past five years. Asked directly before the game whether this would be the end, the 42-year-old was generally shy. Whether the top scorer and six hitters in T20 cricket will follow the retired main wicket-taker, it’s not yet known.

It also remains to be seen if this is the last time we see Pollard, Ravi Rampaul, Russell and Lendl Simmons who are all on the wrong side of the 30. They will be regulars in franchise competitions for sure, but their international future. is much less certain. . They leave behind a collection of talented individuals who are in desperate need of guidance. The next few years in white ball cricket promise to include a tough transition.

For now, it’s time to remember the dance steps, the pioneers, the smiles and the big hits. This team would occupy a prominent place on the Bayeux tapestry of T20 cricket.



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