Rovman Powell turned 29 on July 23, which was a few days ago. The Jamaican has recently turned vice captain. The current series versus India, where four more T20I’s are still left to be played is his second assignment as Windies’ vice-captain.
That’s not an easy job; it asks a lot of its flagbearer. It posits some responsibility that must be carried well by its leader even Pooran’s job is bigger.
But how well has Rovman Powell actually done what was asked of the Windies vice-captain?
Well, a look at the recent results in white-ball game read as follows:
14, 13, 6, 18, and 13!
These are the previous five scores of the big hitting right-hander in games against India as well as the recent tourists to the Caribbean: Bangladesh.
These are, interestingly speaking, results in both forms of white-ball cricket that Ravi Powell, as he’s often called, managed.
Incidentally, if you were to rewind a further down in the past, then you’d find that Rovman Powell scored- not struck- a 9 versus Bangladesh on July 10 (Providence ODI) and a 5 in the last T20 before that.
This is the same Rovman Powell who has excited, entertained, even hit a whirlwind maiden ODI century in perhaps a crunch moment in West Indies cricket, where his 101 versus Ireland in the ODI world cup qualifiers saved an already embarrassed team from further embarrassment.
But forget not, this is the very Rovman Powell who seemed in much better gear in the recent IPL (2022) than he does at present for national duties.
In his maiden IPL campaign, the right hander, promised a permanent number 5 spot by Pant, did score no fewer than 250 runs. His strike rate was touching 150. He fired 22 sixes with usual restless abandon and also struck a mighty impressive 67 not out, his best score so far (IPL).
It was impressive, especially given that Powell was playing the famous cash-rich T20 league for a first time.
But what isn’t impressive one bit, and absurd, truth be told, is that when his team has needed him to stay on to save the day, bat on, Powell’s been heading out to the dugout faster than he walks down the pitch.
How does that help a team that is looking for poise and certainty, some kind of continuity not just mind boggling hits to- and above- the fence?
Worse still? How’s it that Ravi Powell, who did seem to be getting his game right against spin isn’t getting it right against a Chahal, Shakib, Patel, Taijul and the likes?
Does that mean that when confronted by real quality bowling the promising deputy of Pooran finds himself cornered or hard done by.
If so, how does Rovman Powell better his existential woes.
The truth is that Powell, who had to face the ignominy of missing out on the Netherlands ODI, didn’t do much for his team in the games versus Pakistan.
Knocks like his 10 off as many deliveries and the 10 off 19 didn’t help the team. Not when his captain was having a miserable time as if Pooran hadn’t sucked in the ODI’s against the Dutch.
Powell is a really nice person. He’s faced a constant onslaught in life in that he had literally nothing when growing up. Well, not more than an ordinary house with a tin shed roof from which water apparently leaked and a doting, inspiring mum for company besides others to fight it out.
He had promised his maa that there’d come a day where he’d drive them out of their economic predicament. He did that. Handsomely so. Full marks to him.
But he’s got to remember that he’s got two houses to save: one his own in Jamaica, which he’s saved with flying colours and the other- the often collapsing structure called West Indies; a structure that painstaking rigor, consistency and class built (all thanks to the sixties and seventies and eighties’ teams).