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New coach seeks answers from weak Windies

Australian coach John Dyson says he needs to sit down with the West Indian players and quickly discover why they are underachieving in world cricket, reports said on Saturday.

The former Test opening batsman coach leaves Sydney for the Caribbean on Monday to take up his appointment as the successor to compatriot Bennett King for one of the most challenging jobs in international cricket.

The West Indies have won just three of their past 40 Tests with their victories coming against Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and a Pakistan side missing five leading players.

Dyson, the former Sri Lanka coach, says he is not sugar-coating the task of coaching a team currently ranked eighth in both Test and one-day cricket.

”Over the last 10 years, by anyone’s standards, the West Indies have been playing some pretty average cricket,” Dyson told Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

”When I was coach of Sri Lanka I followed their performances closely, and I felt it was a squad underachieving. Certainly they should be higher up the ICC [International Cricket Council rankings] table than they are now. At the moment, you would have to say that there is only one player in that squad who is playing up to their potential, and that is Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

”With the other guys, you look at them and think, ‘He’s a better player than what he’s showing on the park.’ I need to get there, sit down with the players and find out what is wrong.”

Dyson says he doesn’t expect a return to the glory days of the 1970s and 1980s, but he will insist on personal accountability among the players.

”I’m not a big believer in putting the broom through a place upon arrival,” he said. ”And I don’t expect people to compare this West Indies squad with those of the 1970s and 1980s. What they did for international cricket was to introduce a form of professionalism and dedication never seen before.

”These guys have to develop their own personality and see what brand of cricket they can play. I haven’t spoken to Bennett King, but I have spoken to [stand-in coach] David Moore, and he felt the squad had more potential than what it has shown.

”I agree, and now it’s about finding a way of bringing that potential out. I don’t see it as the toughest challenge I’ve had, just a different one,” he said. ”Every coaching job in world cricket is difficult, with the exception of Australia.” — Sapa-AFP

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