Early on Monday morning the sole Test match in the Women’s Ashes was declared a draw in Taunton.
The West Indies have been brilliant in the ICC World T20 this decade, winning it twice and making the semi-finals in 2014 only for D/L method to boot them out.
However, their 50-over form has been very patchy in the ICC Cricket World Cup – just winning over Bangladesh in 2011 and Ireland in 2015 on net run rate only to get outplayed in both quarter-finals. The current West Indies side looks more balanced four years on and here’s the squad I reckon will cause a few upsets.
Batsmen – Chris Gayle, John Campbell, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis
All-rounders – Andre Russell, Jason Holder (captain), Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Sunil Narine
Keeper – Shai Hope
Seamers – Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrell, Kemar Roach, Keemo Paul
Chris Gayle is the perfect example of age not being a barrier. The Universal Boss showed how explosive he can be at the top of the order against England earlier this year.
John Campbell looks as good as anyone whenever he plays a flick shot or a cover drive. He hasn’t converted any of his starts yet, but he will get chances in the tri series versus Bangladesh and Ireland prior to the World Cup to gain confidence.
Darren Bravo will be the one who will be looking to bat long while everyone else looks to blast opposition bowlers. world-class batsman and it’s great to see him back again. Shimron Hetmyer is bloody talented.
Averaging over 40 and a strike rate of 110, he will be looking to take on the game and will play a crucial role at no.5. Evin Lewis scored 176 the last time he played an ODI in England and will be a backup opener for the West Indies.
Andre Russell is showing in the IPL what the West Indies are missing at 7. He’s scored 257 runs at an average of 128.5 so far.
What was more impressive was his mature 50 on a very slow Chepauk pitch binding his time and accelerating at the right time. He can be a handy sixth bowling option should Jason Holder need his services.
Jason Holder has improved as a leader and it’s positively affected his game as a batsman and as a seam bowler. Really looking forward to how he goes. Carlos Brathwaite has played some decent knocks lately but with Andre Russell’s form in the IPL, he may have to prepare for a bench warming role in the World Cup.
Ashley Nurse and Sunil Narine are both bowling all rounders who complement each other well should they play as spin twins. Narine deserves to come back in as his mystery spin is still sometimes hard to pick despite a refined action.
Shai Hope has been brilliant with both bat and gloves. Averaging 45 and four ODI tons, he will be key batting at 3. His glovework is just as good and should there be an injury, Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer would be the viable back up options.
The pure raw pace of Oshane Thomas has been inconsistent, but the X factor he provides troubling batsman can be handy in England. Jamaican military man Sheldon Cottrell has been tight with the new ball and his military style celebrations are one to look out for.
Kemar Roach seems to be reviving his career lately, bowling accurately and getting his pace up to 140s again and Keemo Paul will want to cause a storm for the right reasons, unlike in the 2016 U-19 World Cup where he made headlines for his mankad.