West Indies might have finished the league stage of the recently concluded World Cup at the 9th spot but they played far better cricket than what the numbers suggest.
True, they won only 2 games out of 8 completed ones, but they gave the mighty Australians as well as Kane Williamson’s New Zealand a massive scare. Their fighting spirit earned them a lot of applause under the inspired leadership of Jason Holder.
Their next assignment is to host a star-studded Indian team for a full series. From the West Indies’ point of view, they will be delighted that the tour will commence with a 3-match T20I series, a format that suits their style of play.
The leadership baton will be taken over by Carlos Braithwaite who has a young squad with numerous match-winners.
Here is a SWOT Analysis of the 14-man squad:
The biggest strength of West Indies is to play a fearless brand of cricket which works very well for the shortest format of the game. Their batting unit has a lot of firepowers and can destroy any attack on a given day.
Sunil Narine, who last played a T20I back in September 2017, marks a return to the fold too. In both these stalwarts, West Indies have a lot of experience at their disposal, which is vital to a young squad. Andre Russel’s unprecedented blistering form in the IPL will keep the Jasprit Bumrah-less Indian attack at their toes. Evin Lewis’ strong record against India will be a huge boost to the hosts.
Despite being crowned champions twice out of the last three World T20 Championships, West Indies have always struggled for consistency. Since their record second title win in 2016, the hosts have won only 6 out of 13 series played so far, a record which doesn’t do justice to the current World Cup-winning squad.
In a desperate bid to bolster their spin attack, they have gone back to Narine who hasn’t been in the best of forms and could struggle against India’s strong batting line-up. Their pace attack leaders – Sheldon Cottrell and Oshane Thomas – have a very average record in T20Is with an alarming economy rates of 8.90 and 9.64 respectively. The absence of a third front-line pace bowler might prove to be costly during the series.
West Indies have invested a lot of time in Rovman Powell but the all-rounder has flattered to deceive in his short international career. Playing at home against a top side is good enough motivation for someone like Powell to prove his mettle and vindicate his selection.
His exploits in the World Cup will keep him in good stead during the series. Shimron Hetmyer has another opportunity to realise the unfulfilled promise in T20Is after having a great time in the ODI format. He will look to take full toll on India’s inexperienced spin attack.
Since January 2018, West Indies have won only 4 out of 18 T20Is. During this period, they faced series defeats against New Zealand, Pakistan, England, Bangladesh and India. A string of defeats is an indicator of their poor form even in a format which epitomises their brand of cricket. India, on the other hand, have won 15 out of 23 T20Is in the same period and will come hard at the hosts. If West Indies fail to get through India’s top 3, they will have a hard time containing the visitors.
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