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West Indies : Team Analysis : World Cup

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9 Days to World Cup 2015

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West Indies : Team Analysis

 



World Cup 2015 CountdownThe West Indies cricket team is much like the Indian Men’s Hockey Team. No, we are not saying this only because both won a World Cup in 1975. The path they have followed in the most important event in the respective sports are quite similar. They were world beaters. Opponents feared them. They had the greatest ever playing for them. The fairy tale lasted for decades but when it ended, the stark reality was too hard to digest, even for the neutral.

Both teams had their fair share of disputes with the organisation. They always possessed individual brilliance but have struggled to play together as a team. The popularity of the sport in the respective countries too have gone down alarmingly in the last couple of decades. There has been a desperate attempt by both organisational bodies to revive the situation but the positive results have not appeared yet.

These days, people don’t expect the West Indies to win against Test playing nations. People become happy if they produce one or two moments of individual brilliance and if they do well with both bat and ball, it’s a bonus. Sounds harsh, but this is the truth. 

The administration issues are plaguing their progress the most. Revolts by the players and their association has been a regular affair. 

Now, to top all these, their Wold Cup squad doesn’t have Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine. The first two were not selected and the last one withdrew from the squad despite being selected to play in the World Cup. Nikita Miller has been picked to fill Narine’s shoes but those are big shoes to fill and Miller would find his work cut out.

The fast bowling duo of Kemar Roach and Jerome Taylor can be deadly on certain days but the problem is that on most days both of them lose control and end up bowling on both sides of the wicket, on a regular basis. 

Darren Bravo looks like Brian Lara when he bats but is yet to unearth that x-factor which would take him closer to the genius from Trinidad, in terms of batting pedigree. The World Cup is going to be a big test for him. 

The mere mention of Marlon Samuels’ and Chris Gayle’s name can make a bowler perspire. But their form has always been volatile. They can win matches single handedly but the frequency of that happening has sadly lessened over the last few years. 

The most important members of the West Indies team are, without a shade of doubt, Andre Russell and Darren Sammy. The young Jason Holder must find a way to use Russell’s talent optimally. 

Sammy, Gayle, Samuels and Russell will make sure that there is no shortage of individual brilliance in the West Indies XI. But, as has been touched upon earlier, the big question is whether they can play along with each other or not, whether they can play for each other or not.
 
The charm of West Indies’ past often makes a cricket romantic judge their performances while looking through rose-tinted glasses. But, a more realistic head-driven approach would make one feel that they don’t have a realistic chance of progressing to the semi-finals. They have been consistently poor against higher ranked teams in the recent past. 

Their match against Ireland would not be as one-sided as some might think it should be. West Indies versus Pakistan is one fixture which no one dares to predict. Even the best of analytics can fail in front of the unpredictability these two teams can potentially offer. They should beat Zimbabwe and U.A.E . 

They will find it very difficult against the South Africans at Sydney. It will be an upset if they manage to topple the Proteas. 

West Indies versus India at Perth is an interesting fixture. The venue, besides a struggling Indian batting line up, gives West Indies the best chance. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if this match gets decided in the 100th over of the day.

Overall, West Indies should qualify for the knock-outs but any progress beyond the initial knock-out round should be deemed as surprising. 

Cricket lovers will “Rally Round the West Indies” and hope that they can find enough opportunities to celebrate, in a way that is entirely theirs.
 
Squad : Jason Holder (captain), Marlon Samuels (vice-captain), Sulieman Benn, Darren Bravo, Jonathan Carter, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Darren Sammy, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Jerome Taylor, Nikita Miller (Narine's replacement), Sunil Narine (withdrew), Kieron Pollard (dropped), Dwayne Bravo (dropped)

Batting and bowling potential charts indicate the percentage contribution of each player in the team.

West Indies Batting and Bowling Contribution Potential World Cup 2015


Key Batsmen : Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Andre Russell

Key Bowlers : Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor, Jason Holder

Big Hitters : Andre Russell, Dwayne Smith, Chris Gayle

Most Experienced Player : Chris Gayle

Darkhorse : Jonathan Carter

Last 10 Matches : Won 4, Lost 6

Team Average Age : 30 years

Oldest Player : Chris Gayle (35 years)

Youngest Player : Jason Holder (23 years)

West Indies will be playing two warm-up games against England and Scotland at Sydney Cricket Ground on 9th Feb and 12th Feb respectively.

Fixtures for West Indies in World Cup 2015 :
 

Date & Time Match Details Coverage
 
Mon Feb 16
22:00 GMT (prev day)
11:00 local | 03:30 IST
5th Match, Pool B - Ireland v West Indies
Saxton Oval, Nelson
alt   alt
 
Sat Feb 21
22:00 GMT (prev day)
11:00 local | 03:30 IST
10th Match, Pool B - Pakistan v West Indies
Hagley Oval, Christchurch
alt   alt
 
Tue Feb 24 (D/N)
03:30 GMT | 14:30 local
09:00 IST
15th Match, Pool B - West Indies v Zimbabwe
Manuka Oval, Canberra
alt   alt
 
Fri Feb 27 (D/N)
03:30 GMT | 14:30 local
09:00 IST
19th Match, Pool B - South Africa v West Indies
Sydney Cricket Ground
alt   alt
 
Fri Mar 6 (D/N)
06:30 GMT | 14:30 local
12:00 IST
28th Match, Pool B - India v West Indies
Western Australia Cricket Association Ground, Perth
alt   alt
 
Sun Mar 15
22:00 GMT (prev day)
11:00 local | 03:30 IST
41st Match, Pool B - United Arab Emirates v West Indies
McLean Park, Napier
alt   alt

 



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