West Indies Probable Playing 11 for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: TSR presents West Indies’ likely Playing 11 for their 1st match vs Pakistan
The mega ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 has finally arrived after a couple of exciting matches to wrap up the Warm-up fixtures. Talking about the West Indies, who are unarguably the most exciting and entertaining side amongst the 10 teams, will commence its World Cup campaign on May 31 against Pakistan at the Trent Bridge, in Nottingham.
The ‘Men in Maroon’ had arrived at the World Cup venue on the back of some pretty ordinary, or rather some unlikely West Indian brand of Cricket that we have been used to witness, although one might not even remember when, after their 2016 T20 World Cup triumph were they on top of their game.
To back them up with stats, the Windies have lost their last 7 ODIs out of 9 against Bangladesh alone. They have lost both their ‘Home’ and ‘Away’ One-Day series against them since the past year. To add more wounds to their dismal performance index, the Windies have not won even a single 50-over bilateral or multi-nation tournament since the 2015 Cricket World Cup which was played in Australia and New Zealand.
However, there’s a saying in Cricket, or in all the sports in general that, “you are as good as your last game”. And the last game which they played against New Zealand , they posted a mammoth 421 against a good Kiwi attack. Thus, the game known for its ‘glorious uncertainties’, one may never know what the West Indies might come up with this World Cup.
West Indies Probable Playing 11 for ICC Cricket World Cup
With almost all their batsmen, right till the likes of Carlos Brathwaite and Ashley Nurse at no.9 and no.10 scoring runs against the Kiwis, on Tuesday, the Windies will hit the Trent Bridge- a ground which has turned out to be a ‘batting paradise’ for batsmen, with their chins-up, at least on their batting front. Their bowling however, is a cause of real concern, with neither the pacers nor the spinners being able to find their groove recently.
The Windies selectors might not even be thinking about the Top-order with players having cemented their spots, not only for their opening encounter, but perhaps for their entire World Cup campaign.
Thanks to the Big Gentleman @henrygayle for making lion paw sister’s day a memorable one even though the match was abandoned. I will be coming again on the 31st May, 10th June and 4th July. See you then!!! pic.twitter.com/S0qly04DEm
— Jeannine Reid (@reidjeannine1) May 28, 2019
With 2 centuries and 2 half-centuries in his last ODI series against England at their Home, Chris Gayle is at his peak in terms of his form off-late. He concluded the aforementioned series with an awe-inspiring average of 106. He also had a relatively good performance with the bat in the IPL. And with the experience he brings to the Windies table, there is perhaps no other alternative but the ‘Universe Boss’ for them at the opening slot.
The other likely opener alongside Gayle would be Evin Lewis. Although he last played an ODI in Windies colours back in July 2018, he looked good with his 50 off 54 balls against New Zealand during the Warm-up match.
At no.3, they cannot have a better player than Shai Hope. He scored 2 centuries and as many half-centuries in the recently concluded Tri-Nation series against Bangladesh and Ireland. He also smashed 101 off 86 deliveries against the Kiwis in the Warm-up match to seal his spot at no.3.
Darren Bravo at no.4 is more likely the bet for Windies, courtesy his experience more than the recent form. He has been all over places with the bat off-late. He has scored just one half-century in the 9 ODI innings in 2019. But with the squad West Indies have picked, there is no other man suitable for the all-important no.4 spot, but Bravo.
Shimron Hetmyer and Andre Russell will be the other two players in the middle order. Although Hetmyer has been highlt inconsistent with bat for the Windies, he is their best bet at the no.5 spot for sure. He showed his class in the remarkable 75 runs he scored during in his last innings for his franchise- Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL. He also looked in amazing touch during his short stay at the crease during the Warm-up game against the Kiwis.
Andre Russell, on the other hand, has been in the form of his life. He was the Most Valuable Player in the IPL for his superb performances with both bat and ball. He had scored 510 runs off 13 innings at an average and strike rate of 56.66 and 204.81 respectively in the IPL. He thus, is an automatic selection in the Windies side.
Here is where the selection dilemma starts. The Windies cannot afford to play both their all-rounders- Andre Russell and Carlos Brathwaite simultaneously. If they do, they will have to play with only two frontline fast bowlers.
Moreover, looking at likely huge a role spinners will play during the middle-overs in England, going with just one spinner in the side, in the form of Ashley Nurse would not be a good option. Hence the left-arm spin services of Fabien Allen will be crucial, although he might not inspire much confidence in the spin department.
The three pacers would be their skipper Jason Holder, who is also in tremendous touch with the bat, the experienced Kemar Roach, and Shannon Gabriel, who was good with the ball during the recent Tri-Nation series as he scalped 8 wickets in 4 ODIs. Oshane Thomas has impressed all with his fast-paced bowling, but his poor performance in the Warm-up game ( 6-0-66-1) might land him a selection snub.
With none of the bowlers, including skipper Holder himself performing consistently with the ball off-late, these are perhaps the best bowling options for the ‘Men in Maroon’ for their first encounter against the low-in confidence Pakistan side.
West Indies Probable Playing 11 for ICC Cricket World Cup
Jason Holder (c), Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell, Fabien Allen, Ashley Nurse, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel.