The West Indies are a team that can never be taken lightly in any tournament. They have star batsmen is Gayle, Samuels and Darren Bravo and some good bowlers as well as some of the best all-rounders in the world. The team does always seem to be overshadowed by the politics that goes with their cricket. Players are never happy and always seem to be controlled by the board with their ‘my way or the highway’ attitude.
They will be seeking their second title, after first winning the World Cup in 2012, beating Sri Lanka by 36 runs in the final. There is no doubt that they are a talented team and the T20 format is where they really excel. They seem to have all their bases covered.
When it comes to batting, there’s no need to look further than Chris Henry Gayle. He is the most belligerent T20 batsman out there and he loves Indian conditions as he has shown in the IPL, once scoring 175 not out off just 66 balls, for his team Royal Challengers Bangalore against the Pune Warriors. He’s the type of batsman that is difficult to stop once he gets going. They also have the services of Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Bravo, who both thrive in these conditions for their respective IPL sides. There’s also Carlos Brathwaite, who is a solid batsman in the team but will he be able to cope with sub-continent conditions remains to be seen. The fact that that they don’t have out and out batsmen is a bit of a concern but there is still quality in the side.
The thing that separates this team from a few of the other side is that it is packed with all-rounders. There’s Dwayne Bravo, the captain Darren Sammy, Andre Fletcher and Jason Holder to name a few. That is what makes them a dangerous team, they quality of the all-rounders they possess. They will miss Kieron Pollard and Lendl Simmons, who are both quality all-rounders and have proven track records for their respective IPL sides.
When it comes to bowling, they have Jerome Taylor who will probably open with Jason Holder. They can then call on the all-rounders such as Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Sammy and Andre Fletcher. It must be said that without Sunil Narine, their spin department is weakened but they do have two specialist spinners in Samuel Badree and Sulieman Benn. Gayle can also roll his arm over and bowl some darts in the same manner that Ravindra Jadeja does.
In their warm up games, they lost to India but managed to beat Australia. Dwayne Bravo took 4/21 and Benn 3/37 in the Australia game. Their top order failed and thanks to an unbeaten 50 off 28 balls by captain, Darren Sammy and contributions from Andre Russell and Carlos Brathwaite, they chased down the 162 runs required for victory with a ball to spare. This typically sums up the way West Indies play. They will blow hot and cold but one thing’s for sure…you count them out at your own peril.