Windies seeks revival of fortunes

The West Indies of the 70s and 80s were a dominant force in world cricket. Having won two back to back trophies in 1975 and 1979 World Cups held in England, much has changed ever since.

Having gone from being the world beaters to becoming minnows, in the last two decades, the West Indies had to play in the qualifier tournament before qualifying for the marquee event.

The Jason Holder led team comprises a squad with youth and experience that makes it a team to be wary of. Their batting has been bolstered with Chris Gayle at the helm. In his swansong, Gayle is in top form as it was evident during the last time he played for West Indies against England during March this year. He scored two centuries and two fifties in that series, emerging as the top-run getter. The talismanic opener will once again look to play his own brand of cricket, going slam-bang for one last time.

Adding to Gayle’s firepower is the presence of youngsters Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope, who are all capable of putting up a good show. In the lower order, the Windies also have one of the most destructive batsmen in World cricket at the moment, Andre Russell. He can change games with his bat single-handedly and apart from that, he is also a potent force with the ball, and agile in the field, making him a man to watch out for.]

In the bowling unit they have raw pacers in Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach and Oshane Thomas, who can unsettle batsmen regardless of conditions, while variety comes in the form of left-arm paceman Sheldon Cottrell, along with the medium pace of skipper Holder making it a potent attack. Their problem, however, lies in the spin options with only Ashley Nurse and Fabian Allen, both of them inexperienced.

It will be a far cry to expect the team to replicate their performance of 1970s but with a good mixture of youth and experience, the team has the capability to mirror their T20 prowess in the 50-over format.

NT Bureau