Hayley Matthews is alone and cannot do the scoring for the other 10!

image-ldlzof5lHayley Mathews in her act (T20worldcup.com)

The laws of Cricket are pretty simple. They warrant the selection of 11 players on a single side- not one- and only then can the aggregation be termed a team. 

And one ought to be reminded unless in this incessantly occupied, social media obsessed, troll crazy, fan brigade of an age has forgotten that the sport is very much a team-based effort.

Yet, it's true that despite being a team-oriented sport, it is individual performances that stand out and hold their own weight against that of the opponent.

But does that mean that only one talent or performer should do the job, get the things done whilst the others rest against a stack of ordinary or as seen in the case of the West Indies women, listless batting performances?

Truth be told, few teams are as heavily dependent on the performance of a few of its individual players as that of the West Indies. Cricket, it does feel, becomes an individually-driven sport that's accidentally defined as a team-based effort where it comes to the proclivity of some of the Caribbean talents to take the game away from their opponents.

In the past era, it was largely up to a Brian Lara or Shiv Chanderpaul to rescue their waned out outfits and where it came to the women's side, things have so often depended on the likes of a Stafanie Taylor or Deandra Dottin, particularly in the past.

But rather interestingly, in this post Deandra Dottin-era, where it's not always certain that a Stafanie Taylor would feature consistently in several white-ball series' for the Windies women, the Calypso batting has heavily rested on the capable shoulders of Hayley Matthews.

For someone who's several years from touching even 30, being the captain and with it, the best batter of the side can never be easy. 

And it wasn't especially in the context of the recent tri-series involving South Africa and the Indians.

It was series that had, particularly, from a West Indian perspective, twin narratives:

1) That the rest of the side quite simply flunked with the bat, putting up a shoddy show with barely anything to write home about.

2) There was only one lone spark of daring or as one ought to remember, some character. The name? Hayley Matthews.

With scores of 34, 34, an unbeaten 34 and 23, the tall right handed batter from Barbados was solely depended upon put up the runs her West Indies outfit did in contests that were sadly one-sided and not in the Caribbean girls' favour.

That must have hurt and hurt a lot; not seeing the others, particularly two heavily experienced batters in Britney Cooper and Shemaine Campbelle missing out on the runs.

But inarguably speaking, what may have hurt the most would have been the very fact of the four contests her West Indies women participated in, dominating in none of them, the side was able to collectively put a best total of 97 runs.

Let that sink in. 

The Windies women started their campaign against the Proteas women in East London and managed to put 97 runs on the board. Nearly a fourth of them came at the behest of Matthews' valuable 23-run effort.

The rest, including Cooper, Rashada, Gajnabi and Campbelle accounted for 29 collectively. Could there have been anything sadder from a Caribbean perspective?

The Windies ended their campaign against India, scoring only 94 runs. Of these, Hayley Matthews made 34 on her own. The others, Williams, Gajnabi, Campbelle and Joseph made 23 collectively.

What could've hurt the side more?

Given the way things are going, the approaching T20 World Cup doesn't seem a brilliant occasion for a West Indies camp clearly reeling with batting concerns. And these are huge concerns.

While surely, the likes of Chinelle Henry and Chedean Nation who were missed during the tri-series will be back. But the biggest question of them all is for how long can a Windies side punch its weight against the talent of Hayley Matthews.

Cricket, it ought to be reminded once again, is a team based sport. Had it not been one, only a single player would've featured on either side. What was ever the need of having ten more names in a unit?

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