The closest the West Indies have come to greatness on their Australian tour to date has been when they rub shoulders with their all-star support staff at training.
But fast-bowling legend Courtney Walsh believes the Windies’ next cricketing great is present in the current squad for the three-Test series with world number two Australia.
And the third-last Test-ranked Windies will no doubt be sweating on him emerging sooner rather than later after a disastrous start to their Down Under tour.
How the Windies must wish they could run out their support staff of legends Walsh, Richie Richardson, Curtly Ambrose and coach Phil Simmons as they look to rebuild their once mighty team.
Especially after a near full-strength Windies were humbled by 10 wickets within four days by a second string Cricket Australia XI in their sole match before the first Test starting in Hobart on Thursday.
Only rested bowling spearhead Jerome Taylor was missing from the Windies XI in Brisbane.
Few consider the young Windies a remote chance Down Under.
Their limp capitulation against a CA XI featuring six first-class rookies with an average age of 21 only added fuel to the fire for cynics.
They do not look like snapping the Windies’ run of not recording an overseas Test series win of note in 20 years.
Yet Walsh thinks greatness will potentially be on display in Windies colours this summer.
For the first time since they launched their remarkable 15-year unbeaten Test streak in 1980 the Windies have arrived Down Under without a recognised matchwinner.
Or a recognised name, for that matter.
The likes of ex-skippers Chris Gayle, Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo are in Australia but they are featuring in the Twenty20 Big Bash League.
But asked if they had a player in their midst to add to their long list of Windies legends, Walsh said: “There are a few players here on this tour that could do so.”
There are a few players here on this tour that could do so. But it is up to the individual to work hard, stay focused.
“But it is up to the individual to work hard, stay focused.”
Asked if he could name names, a protective Walsh said: “No.”
Yet Walsh admitted he had a big role to play in ensuring his bold claim came to pass.
The presence of tour selector Walsh, team manager Richardson, bowling consultant Ambrose and head mentor Simmons in Australia provides a stark reminder of how far the once mighty Windies have fallen since their heyday decades ago.
But Walsh hopes they also inspire the young squad.
“It’s a balancing act but that is where the management team come into play,” Walsh said.
“They all have their role to play.
“Encourage when you need to encourage. When you need to be hard and tough you are hard and tough.
“Everything is not always going to be rosy.”
Topics: cricket, sport, hobart-7000, tas, australia, jamaica