Friday, April 30, 2010

West Indies

The team from the Caribbean have been very unpredictable in major tournaments. Yes, they have shown that on their day, they can beat any opposition, but have also crumbled under pressure. The Caribbean team were dumped out in the first round itself in the 07 world cup as Bangladesh defeated them, but did better in the last edition as they reached the semifinals. The present team is captained by Gayle.

Key players

Gayle- As a captain, Gayle has his fair share of critics, but his players seem to like him as a captain. If the players like him, then he should continue to be the captain of the side. Of course, he is a key component of their batting line-up as he can just blast the opposition into submission by getting big scores at a very good strike rate at top of the order. The tall Gayle uses his reach to good effect and when in form he is unstoppable. For instance, he scored that blistering hundred against South Africa in 07 and in the last edition of the tournament, the Australians got a taste of the Gale force as he played another quickfire knock. Gayle can also bowl useful off spin and should prove useful on the slow tracks of the Caribbean.

Pollard- I won't forget the highest paid cricketer in 2010 IPL either. The frightening thing is, he can hit it even further than Gayle! I have a feeling that on some small ground most of the time the ball would have to be searched on the roads or some nearby park! He is one of the most powerful hitters I have seen in cricket. Yes, he can be vulnerable against spin and opposing captains should always keep an over of their main spinner for the sake of Pollard and should set straight fields, but make no mistake, if Pollard gets going, he can cause mayhem in the opposition ranks. He can also bowl useful medium pace and his tendency to bowl a few short and mix it up with cutters worked for him in the IPL.

D.Bravo- He was in wretched form in the IPL yet, is one of the key players in the side. Bravo always looks for wickets and I'm still amazed by his ability to bowl different types of slower deliveries. He is a fine bowler in the end overs and that is another thing to consider. As a batsman, he is wristy and can hit in unusual areas, so setting a field for Bravo can be bit of an headache.

Benn- He isn't a star, but the tall Benn can be very useful on the slow wickets of the Caribbean. He is tall, so would get bounce, but more importantly has a fine temperament. People shouldn't be surprised, if he opens the bowling in some of the games. Benn can also slog a few as a batsman.

Taylor- He has been bogged down by fitness issues and controversies, but for the team to do well, they need a fit and firing Taylor. He is a fine seam bowler, who can get wickets upfront and has the ability to bowl yorkers backed up by a good change of pace in the end overs.

I would also like to mention both Sarwan and Chanders. Yes, they aren't renowned for scoring quickly, but both are experienced campaigners and for the team to do well, they have to come good.

The major worry for the team is, few of their bowlers have had fitness issues and their attack can be suspect under pressure. I have already mentioned Taylor, but even Rampaul, who too can be useful in the end overs has been bogged down by fitness issues. Roach is quick, but hasn't yet found his feet in the shortest version of the game. So, they have to look at Benn for consistency and hopefully Bravo can regain his form. The other problem of course is, they depend too much on individual brilliance as for instance in 07 in South Africa, Gayle scored a superb hundred, but their bowling and fielding was atrocious.

The team from the Caribbean are unpredictable, but have the skill to upset the big boys like Australia, India and co. I think at most, they can reach the semifinals. I also hope that they do well as I won't like to see the home team making an early exit from the competition.

1 comment:

Wes said...

Pollard is mad. Glad he played for my fave Aussie domestic team in the Big Bash.

World T20: My own irrational predictions