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West Indies – World Cup Team Preview

by Tom on Friday, May 3rd, 2013
1975’s victorious West Indies team pose at the Lord’s balcony

1975’s victorious West Indies team pose at the Lord’s balcony

The originals are still the best and you cannot ignore the West Indies team by any stretch of imagination. They are hungry, unpredictable and ruthless when in form. The West Indians were first to hold the ICC World Cup in its inaugural year in 1975 when Clive Llyod’s team beat Australia at the Lord’s. Then West Indies created history by repeating the feat and winning it back-to-back in the year 1979 by beating England at the same venue. West Indies then stormed into its third back-to-back finals in in 1983 but lost the title to Kapil Dev’s India.

Comparing the time when Sir Vivian Richard led West Indies’ decade long domination in World Cricket, to a time now when the West Indies team looks devoid of any big names, it looks like they are an ordinary unit. But the word ‘ordinary’ is simply understated here and if you go for our word, West Indies is the most dynamic team in the present era. No other team has such array of combination and choices that West Indies posse. They have one of the most mysterious spinners in the form of Sunil Narine, all-rounders in Dwayne Bravo and Dwayne Smith, impactful players in the form of Marlon Samuels and Kieron Pollard, and an able captain who can double up as an all-rounder in the form of Darren Sammy. And if piece of the puzzle was missing, explosive Chris Gayle completes the lethal package altogether. The script looks perfect on paper and we just have to see how many of these make it to the final eleven down under. The only problem that looks in hindsight is of player availability as West Indies has lost many of high-profile players in the past, due to silly reasons like player protests, advertising issues, drug controversies and on-field bans.

In 2011 World Cup, West Indies had a decent start to the tournament. They were on a winning streak, beating South Africa, Netherlands, Bangladesh and Ireland before it ended with defeats at the hands of England and India. But they surrendered without any resistance in the quarter-finals, getting all-out for 112 against Pakistan. Pakistan got home with all 10 wickets intact and the shameful defeat meant the end of trip for West Indies. But all is history now. And now a re-conditioned and firmly spirited team waits for a stringent test. 

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