Look back at the first two matches West Indies played at World Cup 2019 suggests the strong performances. Demolishing entire Pakistan line up for just 105 runs and reducing Australia for 79/5 are the proofs. If it’s about West Indies’ bowling, it’s about the great quadruplets of Marshal, Roberts, Garner, and Holding. However, a comparison of the current bowling unit with those greats is a bit too hyped one feels. And that’s exactly what people started after Australia were reduced to 79/5.
New ball bullies
What the figures suggest from the first two world cup matches as well as the series prior to the world cup is that the contemporary WI bowling attack is better with the new ball. However, attack falls out once both the balls are 10-12 overs old. Nathan Coulter-Nile’s score in the world cup match and Mosaddek Hossain’s in the prior series suggest the same. The team also misses a genuine spinner who can be turned upon for breakthroughs.
Weak Spin Department
The team doesn’t have a strong spinner who can tie up the runs or take up wickets. The absence of Sunil Narine is being felt quite strongly. To fill spinners’ shoes, West Indies is using Gayle – a part-timer – as a spinner. Even though Ashley Nurse played a match, he isn’t too effective. Hence, the attack has become one-dimensional, unlike the past.
One dimensional cricket
It is no secret that the current crop of West Indies cricketers has played more T20 cricket than any other format. And the impact is quite evident in their approach to the game. The lines and lengths have generally been of T20 cricket. These lengths do work for an initial period of play but don’t work as soon as the ball becomes old. Bowlers need to add more varieties into their armory, to handle the middle passage of the play.
Resurgent West Indies
To the credit of current West Indies Cricket board, they have pursued their star cricketers (likes of Chris Gayle, Keiron Pollard, Andre Russell, etc.) to join back the West Indies team. No doubt that the inclusion of these experienced guys has fully changed the team outlook. Addition of young guns like Oshane Thomas and Sheldon Cottrell has given the raw pace. And Jason Holder’s captaincy has held them together. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that this cricket team shows the sign of a resurgent West Indies.
However, one feels that this team is not even closer to one of the late 70s and 80s led by Clive Lloyd. So, this West Indies is not a West Indies of the past.