Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of regular columns highlighting the T20 Cricket World Cup — from a Caribbean point of view.

The postmortem is clearly obvious regarding the reigning T20 World Cup champions West Indies demise in the United Arab Emirates: They simply weren’t good enough. They failed to advance to the semifinals, just one win in five games — the victory coming against the lowly Bangladesh. The T20 paradigm has evolved but the West Indies apparently hasn’t adjusted, their six-centric approach archaic.

The men in maroon parlayed power hitting into a second World Cup title five years ago, but strict adherence to power hitting is just not smart cricket. It’s high reward but also high risk. The consensus among cricket administrators worldwide is that the pitch conditions should dictate one’s approach at the crease and that rotating the strike — taking ones and twos — and punishing wayward bowling is what T20 batsmen must strive for. Of course, at times boundary chasing comes in handy.

The struggles of Chris Gayle, widely regarded as one of the greatest T20 batsmen, exemplified the West Indies struggles in the UAE. He has racked up nearly two dozen T20 centuries and in excess of 14,000 runs as a cricket mercenary of sorts during an unparalleled decade of excellence, but at 42 he is a shell of his former self, immobile at the crease. He averaged a paltry 9 runs per outing in the UAE, his highest score 15. Some pundits suggested that he should not been selected in the first place but for so long he has set the template for West Indies T20 that not selecting him would have been heresy.

None of the other batsmen expected to lead the West Indies to an unprecedented third World Cup title did anything of note to burnish their reputations. Captain Keiron Pollard, vice captain Nicholas Pooran, opener Evin Lewis and middle order batsman Shimron Hetmyer had their moments but lacked consistency, application. Collectively, the team registered only two half centuries in five matches, and noted slugger Andre Russell managed a mere two sixes during the tourney, all coming last week in their finale against Australia. Utterly ineffective. It was as if he sleepwalked through the World Cup.

The bowling too was underwhelming. In three of five matches they failed to get more than three wickets. Allrounder Dwayne Bravo, one of T20’s craftiest bowlers, lacked juice and at 37 seemed spent. He announced his retirement before the Australia match. Also, seamer Jason Holder, one of cricket’s finest, appeared merely average.

It was a letdown in all phases of the game for the defending champs, and Pollard acknowledged that during an interview with ESPNCricinfo following the eight-wicket defeat at the hands of Australia. He also noted that it was the end of an era for the West Indies, the team’s leaders north of 30 years.

“Overall, it’s been a disappointing campaign. In terms of the batting we have not done well at all. Our bowling has been decent but not good enough. It’s the end of a generation, we have some guys who have done good things for T20 cricket in our team and around the world. We as people are very proud,” he said. “We have to look at the way we play T20 cricket. What we’ve seen is that one guy in the top four has to bat as long as possible. Going forward we need to do that better. We have to start from a foundation now.”

It’s noteworthy that Pollard, a batsman known for his aggression, stressed that West Indies batsmen must be more circumspect, place more value on their wickets. In other words, they must stay longer at the crease.

What then does the future hold for West Indies T20 cricket?

West Indies cricket great Sir Andy Roberts doesn’t appear optimistic, citing a paucity of talent in the region.

“When this [cricket] administration came on board their first effort was to tackle the problem of selection but I am adamant that selection {of players} is not the problem. We need to have players to select and that is our biggest problem. We don’t have quality players at the moment and players have to develop themselves to become international players,” he told the Antigua Observer newspaper recently.

Further, he hit the nail on the head, criticizing the West Indies batting philosophy.

“Our players are not adopting to T20 cricket by trying to rotate the strike like most other teams do,” Roberts said. “We depend purely on power hitting and that is not carrying us through. Adaptation plays a very big role in cricket and especially in batting because you have to adapt to the surface you’re paying on and you have to know when it’s time to hit and when it’s time to work the ball.”

Despite Roberts’ misgivings, all is not lost for the West Indies. Pooran, Hetmyer, and Lewis, all gifted batsmen, have youth on their side, so the future of West Indies T20 is largely dependent on them. If they adapt, and prosper, so will the West Indies.

— Contact Curtis Walcott at 340-714-9108 or email cwalcott@dailynews.vi.