West Indies tri-series 2013: Team Preview – West Indies

Caribbean tides a-changing.

Kierron pollard will seek to redeem the shot that he tried to play in the very important qualifying match against South Africa. That shot proved to be the final nail in the coffin for West Indies’ chances of making it to the semis. That and the curse that is Duckworth Lewis.

But why bring it down to one shot? The West Indians had too many anomalies throughout, which led to their exit.

They enter the tri-series, bruised, wounded and hopefully having addressed their issues. Here’s how the team looks, set to play their first match against Sri Lanka.

Batting

It does not help the West Indies’ case that the very batsmen that were the stars of IPL 2013, the hard hitting batsmen, have failed to put up any comfortable partnerships on the board in champion’s trophy. A stable opening partnership is what the West Indians desperately need. The man, Chris Gayle, needs to get rid of the sometimes too hot and sometimes cold performances and give hell to the bowlers, like he usually does. He also needs to last beyond 20 overs. Johnson Charles must continue his good form from his match against India in the Champion’s Trophy and carry it to bigger numbers. And as for Samuels, whose scores in the last 3 matches read 30, 48 and 1 – one can only hope he strengthens the middle order desperately.

It has not been a start that captain Dwayne Bravo had hoped for as the newly crowned captain for West Indies. But his approach is at least sincere and honest. In his defence, the team really hasn’t been overhauled since Darren Sammy handed over the reins to him. And he is, after all, an all rounder on whom the team heavily depends. Some consistent Bravo magic would do wonders for the team.

Bowling

West Indies have always been the team most feared for their bowlers. However, the current team can claim no such thing. Their bowling attack consists of one of the best pacers in the world – Tino Best – and Kemar Roach. It would be interesting to see who they play in today’s match, as Roach showed a better record in the Champions Trophy. However, if Tino finds his form, it would be the captain’s lucky day.

Not to forget Sunil Narine’s spin. He was successful in taking wickets against India in the Champions Trophy, although he will be playing against two sides which play spin bowling the best. But given home conditions, Narine can be a key element in winning it for the Caribbean side.

Them, backed Ravi Rampaul’s fast bowling, the bowling would surely keep the runs in check. And yes, the amazing part is they have the bowling of the fiery trio – Pollard, Bravo and Sammy – to fall back on. The West Indies have won matches on the back of their bowling in the past, which, admittedly, has been cringe-worthy lately. After all, they do have the home advantage and are obviously better acquainted with the conditions.

Players to watch out for

Darren Sammy – Yes, Darren Sammy, who gave up his captaincy, was not included in the first match and yet  lived up to the expectations. It was a pity to see that his inclusion depended on a dubious catch by Ramdin.

Kieron Pollard – The man’s innings can decide which way the game turns. Sometimes, even a single shot can seal their fate. This time he’d be hoping it’s in their favour

Kemar Roach – Fantastic figures, a little more help from fellow bowlers and this guy can take the team all the way to the finals. With both bat and ball.

The team

Dwayne Bravo (c), Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard, Devon Smith, Darren Sammy, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Sunil Narine, Tino Best, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach

Fixtures

  1. West Indies v/s Sri Lanka at Kingston

Friday, June 28th, 2013

  1. West Indies v/s India at Kingston

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

  1. West Indies v/s India at Port of Spain

Sunday, July 5th, 2013

  1. West Indies v/s Sri Lanka at Port of Spain

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Prediction

While the West Indies indeed had a rough tournament in England, they will look to learn from their mistakes. Under the fresh captaincy of D Bravo, and home conditions, they can play some unbelievable cricket and win this. It’s a matter of believing in the power of ones and twos and not looking to just play the boundaries. It’s a matter of sustaining partnerships, a better bowling attack and they can gangnam there way to winning. They need to believe again. So do the fans.

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