ENGLAND TOUR OF WEST INDIES, 2019
Rob Johnston • Final up to date on Tue, 19 Feb, 2019, 03:11 PM
West Indies have used 35 gamers in 40 ODIs and solely 5 of them have performed three quarters of these video games or extra. © Getty
It is unthinkable actually, a World Cup with out the West Indies. It is by no means occurred earlier than, in fact. But when final 12 months’s qualifying competitors in Zimbabwe had had the Choice Evaluation System in place, because it ought to have, Jason Holder’s males would have in all probability been knocked out on the semi-final stage by the hands of Scotland. That might have meant no West Indies in England this summer season and no World Cup marketing campaign for the crew to organize for. It might so simply have been the case.
Enjoying for a spot within the last of the qualifying event, and thus a spot on the World Cup correct, Scotland had been simply behind the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern par rating as rain clouds loomed in Harare. It was then that Richie Berrington was given out LBW to a ball which was clearly going to overlook leg-stump. With no DRS out there due to price concerns, the choice stood, elevating the DLS par rating and that means that Scotland fell, agonisingly, 5 runs in need of victory. West Indies, who misplaced the ultimate to Afghanistan, progressed to the World Cup in consequence.
Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the ICC’s resolution to run a ten-team World Cup – and there are such a lot of wrongs about it – West Indies can depend themselves lucky to be there, not only for the way of their victory over Scotland, but in addition as a result of their current type in 50-over cricket has been dire. They’ve clearly not been amongst the most effective ten ODI groups of the previous two years.
They’ve gained simply 11 of their 40 matches in that point, a win-loss ratio that locations them 14th of all of the groups who’ve performed ODI cricket in that interval. They haven’t gained any of their final 17 collection and didn’t qualify for the Champions Trophy in 2017. It’s little marvel then that they are going to begin as extreme underdogs within the five-match collection in opposition to England starting in Barbados on Wednesday.
There have been equally unfancied for the Take a look at collection in fact, and everyone knows how that ended, however within the longest format they’ve had way more consistency of personnel if not outcomes. Over the past two years, West Indies have used 35 gamers in 40 ODIs and solely 5 of them have performed three quarters of these video games or extra. Whereas England have a settled system, West Indies nonetheless have little concept of their finest squad not to mention their finest crew.
The selectors neglected six gamers for the collection in opposition to England who featured of their final ODI project and since then, accidents have added to the instability. Evin Lewis, Keemo Paul and Marlon Samuels are all absent whereas Shannon Gabriel, having not performed ODI cricket since 2017, is now banned for the primary 4 matches after initially being earmarked to play the ultimate three video games. No less than Chris Gayle has returned.
Within the lead-up to the collection, Gayle, who will retire after the World Cup, stated his youthful teammates owe it to him to win the event in England. It was stated tongue in cheek however it could take a minor miracle for West Indies to even attain the knockout phases of the World Cup given they’ve displayed hardly any of the fundamental elements wanted for a profitable ODI crew. In brief, they’ve been left behind.
Whereas the likes of England and India’s batting oozes explosiveness and aggression, the West Indies have been positively pedestrian. The 39-year-old Gayle is one in every of solely two gamers to have performed multiple match during the last two years hanging at higher than a run a ball – the opposite is Shimron Hetmyer – whereas West Indies’ run price of four.93 in that interval is worse than some other crew who will likely be on the World Cup bar Afghanistan.
The inclusion of the eye-catching left-handed batsman Nicholas Pooran within the squad for the primary time ought to at the least assist add some oomph to a batting order which additionally must show way more consistency. Solely 4 gamers are averaging greater than 30 with the bat within the final two years – Gayle, Hetmyer, Shai Hope and Lewis – and West Indies have scored simply 9 centuries of their final 40 video games. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have 12 centuries every in the identical timeframe.
Regardless of these limitations, Gayle and Darren Bravo add expertise to the highest order, though it stays to be seen whether or not both can recapture their finest type after intervals of absence, whereas Hope averages 47 in ODI cricket. After impressing within the Take a look at collection, Hetmyer, who has scored three ODI centuries in simply 20 matches, will likely be relied upon for middle-order hitting whereas all-rounders Rovman Powell, captain in Bangladesh, and Holder will add depth. It’s not a batting order to strike concern into an opposition however neither is it one to be taken completely with no consideration.
Issues haven’t been any higher on the bowling entrance both. Solely Sheldon Cottrell and Obed McCoy, who is just not within the present squad, common lower than 30 with the ball within the earlier two years they usually have performed a mixed six matches between them. Holder is the one bowler to common greater than a wicket per sport in that interval and choosing up dismissals has been an issue for West Indies usually, with every wicket costing 45 runs, the worst of the 18 groups to have performed ODI cricket in these two years.
The selectors have stored religion with leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, realising that a fashionable ODI crew wants a spinner who can flip the ball each methods within the hunt for middle-over wickets, however he has taken simply 14 from his final 25 matches at a mean of 70. Ashley Nurse, the off-spinner, has been higher worth however he’s a defensive bowler, specializing in containment slightly than wickets. And that merely will not lower it lately.
The choice of real tempo in Gabriel, earlier than his suspension, and Oshane Thomas, the younger Jamaican fast, is an effective transfer to try to add extra chew to the assault whereas Cottrell provides left-arm selection which was profitable on the tour to Bangladesh late final 12 months when he took seven wickets in simply three matches. Alzarri Joseph and Kemar Roach will hope to recreate their Take a look at match exploits with the white ball.
So, what of their probabilities? If the shape ebook is something to go by, West Indies should not have a sniff in opposition to England but, a bit like forward of the Take a look at collection, the person elements of their ODI squad look barely higher than their current outcomes counsel.
Time is working out earlier than the World Cup, although, and it stays to be seen whether or not they can get their act collectively earlier than then. Given their ODI performances during the last two years, there’s a lot to get collectively. And never a lot time to do it.