Windies can do it

November 9, 2014

The West Indies have the potential to win the next year’s World Cup

Windies can do it

It has been 35 years since they last won the World Cup. Their current players are far from the greatness exhibited by their predecessors for well over a decade during which they clinched the first two World Cups. There is no Clive Lloyd, no Gordon Greenidge and no Viv Richards among them. They also do not have the likes of Holding, Garner or Roberts. Yet the West Indies have the potential to win the next year’s World Cup.

One might ask what the reasons are for such an expectation. First, they are a fairly experienced squad. Most of the players who are likely to play the World Cup (one hopes their issues with the board will be settled before the mega event) have been part of the team for a number of years. But it must be emphasised here that they are not an old, soon-to-retire team. None of the players who played in the series against India -- which was aborted, unfortunately -- is over 35. A few of their players are in their early thirties. But there are many who are under thirty. So the squad is reasonably balanced.

Second, they have some very talented all-rounders, who give depth to the batting line and variety to the bowling attack.

Dwayne Bravo is one of the best all-rounders in one-day cricket today. With more than 10 years of international cricket experience, he has all the requisite abilities to lead the boys from the Caribbean to glory. Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell and Darren Sammy are also very skilful all-rounders, explosive in batting and quite effective at bowling.

Third, they have a very potent fast bowling attack in the shape of Keamar Roach (98 wickets from 64 ODIs), Jerome Taylor (103 wickets from just 69 games), and Ravi Rampaul (115 victims in 90 ODIs).

Fourth, in the spin bowling department, they have Sunil Narine, who has been baffling even the best batsmen of the world since his debut in late 2011. If he is not banned for his bowling action, he can play an important role in taking his team to the knockout stage and excel there as well. They also have the services of Sulieman Benn, who is an effective and economical bowler .Fifth, their batting line has such talented players as Marlon Samuels and Lendl Simmons who can take the match away from any team within a few overs.

In the first ODI of their recent series, which remained incomplete, they demolished India by 124 runs in Kochi. Beating India in India and that too with such a huge margin is no mean feat. And they had no Chris Gayle, it must be noted.

Their current team is almost the same that won the World T20 crown in October 2012 under the leadership of Darren Sammy. Samuels played a very important role in that triumph, scoring 230 runs at an average of 38 with three half centuries. Narine and Rampaul were their chief wicket-takers with nine dismissals each in seven matches.

So if their payments crisis ends soon and they enter the World Cup with their best players, the West Indians back home will not be too optimistic for expecting their team to lift the trophy at the Melbourne Cricket Ground next March.

Windies can do it