Samuels’ promise was obvious in his debut series here four years ago, when he was just 19. He has fallen well short of expectations in the interim and has been kept out of Test cricket since 2003 by the frustrated selectors. But his potential is impossible to disregard and he was chosen for this tour, possibly his last chance. Even Lara could not have surpassed the strokeplay that produced eight sixes and 34 fours in six-and-a-half flawless, magical hours.
Smith is 23 years old, Samuels 24. Five others 25 or under will be in the side on Thursday. There seems to be hope after all for West Indies cricket. The coming month will tell whether or not it is misplaced.
The West Indies could do with an injury to McGrath and Warne to boost their confidence, too…
UPDATE: Ryan makes an excellent point, which we all should be aware of:
But, letâ€™s pay attention to the set-up thatâ€™s happening before our eyes. The international Aussie media is setting up a situation where King gets credited for all improvements but, when things fall apart, it is the â€œsystemâ€ in the Caribbean that it is the weak link.
Nope, sorry, canâ€™t have it both ways. You either take all the credit or take all the blame. Thatâ€™s all.