They’ve been stars of their respective teams for over a decade in 50-over cricket, but Chris Gayle and MS Dhoni should call time on their ODI careers when this World Cup comes to an end.
In cricket, adjusting to foreign conditions is very important for a team.
Therefore, many teams scheduled tours in or around England to acclimatise to their unfamiliar surroundings just before the World Cup.
The West Indies and Bangladesh are currently playing a tri-series in Ireland, while Pakistan is battling England on their home turf. Afghanistan also toured Scotland to play two ODIs, winning the short series 1-0.
The West Indies’ performance in the Ireland tri-series is worth analysing.
They are not playing with their full World Cup squad in this series, with players like Chris Gayle, Andre Russell and Shimron Hetmyer set to join their team-mates in the UK shortly before the tournament.
In their absence, Shai Hope, Roston Chase and Jason Holder took the responsibility of leading the batting line-up.
Currently, Shai Hope is the leading run-getter in this series with 396 runs at an average of 99 in four matches.
The West Indies have lost two games against Bangladesh in Ireland, and although they’ve won their two matches against the hosts, one of those clashes could have easily gone the other way.
A century by Sunil Ambris – who is not part of the World Cup squad – helped them to chase 328 runs successfully.
Looking at the current performances, the worry for the West Indies is the lack of wickets from their pace bowlers. Remember, the same bowling unit will be bowling in the World Cup.
The good thing for the Windies will be the addition of Russell and Oshane Thomas, which will give them more options when the tournament begins.
Further, they will be playing one warm-up game against South Africa on May 26. Here they will get to see the form of Gayle, Thomas and other players that are only joining the squad at the last minute.
With only two games left before the World Cup, the West Indies would want to rectify the current issues – and they will want their spinners to keep up their excellent form during the World Cup.
They would also want Darren Bravo to score some runs in the tri-series final against Bangladesh. This will provide him and the team with a huge confidence boost.
For the West Indies, this tri-series is a good reality check just before the mega event.