A second string West Indies side would have an uphill task on their hands when they take on a much more experienced and balanced Indian team for 5 ODIs and T20 International starting with the first One Day at the Queens Park Oval in Trinidad on Friday.
West Indies shall be missing out on the services of their stalwarts Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Keiron Pollard Darren Sammy and Sunil Narine who all have decided to give national duties a skip and rather play as globetrotters in amid the ongoing pay row between the Cricket Board and the Players.
The West Indies selectors named a 13-man squad for the 5 ODIs and the T20
West Indies squad: Jason Holder (captain), Devendra Bishoo, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shai Hope (wk), Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammad, Ashley Nurse, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell and Kesrick Williams
The West Indies missed out on featuring in the recently concluded Champions Trophy after they failed to make the cut-off qualification for the tournament. The Windies were held to a draw by Afghanistan side. West Indies are languishing at the ninth place in the ODI rankings and are in danger of missing out on an automatic qualification spot for the next World Cup.
In the absence of their core players, it is the emerging crop which needs to take the onus and put up a spirited performance against their much fancied Indian opponents. The Windies team short on experience in their line-up has some firepower at their disposal with some young guns coming up the ranks.
In the absence of regular openers like Lendl Simmons, Chris Gayle and the specialist opening job shall be burdened by young turks Shai Hope and Elwin Lewis. Lewis is an aggressive batsman who can get the innings going with some big hits. Fellow opener Kieran Powell can play the holding game and play the perfect foil to his more belligerent partner Lewis.
The Windies middle order looks brittle without the services of experienced campaigners like Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo and Darren Bravo. They would look towards Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Jonathan Carter to hold the innings in the middle and provide the stability to their innings all through series.Shai Hope with an ODI century to his name has looked quite impressive in his brief stint in international cricket. Hope shall also be doning the keeping gloves for his team. Meanwhile, Jason Mohammad who has racked up four half-centuries in his career so far looks like an accomplished batsman in their line-up.
All-rounders Roston Chase and Jason Holder would lend balance to the team. Chase is a handy middle-order batsman with an intelligent cricketing brain. Meanwhile Jason Holder is the most experienced player in their lineup with 58 caps to his credit. Holder is an extremely clever seamer who can extract some bounce with his height. The tall and lanky seamer is capable of making valuable contributions with the bat lower down the order.
West Indies certainly lack the destructive firepower they possess in the T20 format on account of missing their premier allrounders Keiron Pollard, Andre Russel and Dwayne Bravo. However, Rovman Powell has showcased great ball striking ability with the willow and can be used effectively down the order to step up the scoring rate or finish off games.
The Windies certainly lack the venom in their pace attack for which they were once known. The Windies have been dented by the absence of seasoned seamers in Kemar Roach Shannon Gabriel’s injury has further been a matter of great worry for the management. However young speedsters Miguel Cummins and Alzarri Joseph would look to make most of their opportunities. Both Miguel Cummins and Alzarri Joseph can rack up speeds in excess of 140 kmphs on a regular basis.
The Windies have a couple of decent spinners in the squad who could pose a trouble to the Indian batsmen. Devendra Bishoo can be a handful on a turning track whereas Ashley Nurse and can fill in with their handy off spin.