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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

West Indies at the World Cup

West Indies, being the hosts, will try and emulate Sri Lanka (even though Pakistan and India also hosted the 1996 World Cup) by winning it. But, can they do it? Do they have enough fire-power? Usually, they are quite strong on home soil (even when they are losing to all and sundry everywhere). This time, Lara has been quite inspirational with the team - leading them to victories over India at home, finals to the Champions Trophy and DLF Cup.

Brian Lara, as mentioned, would love to retire on a high. For this, he has been motivating his team, alongwith Clive Lloyd to achieve greater glory and consistency mainly. The team has stopped depending on just Lara for their batting and that can be seen as an improvement. He favors batting second in most of the cases when he wins the toss. But, he has to solve the problem of inconsistency, as was seen recently.

Ramnaresh Sarwan is returning from injury. Would be interesting to see how he fares, though this World Cup will give him enough time to recover. He is one of the key batsmen for WI to fire
consistently. He would have to be the steady rock in the WI innings to take their team to safety.

Chris Gayle is the key for the WI team to fire from the word go. If he fires, WI will win the match. Hence, for the opposition captain, his wicket is the most precious. Also, his bowling is a big plus for WI - as is his slip-catching.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul has formed a good partnership with Gayle at the top of the order. Will have to tone down a bit to ensure that he stays till the end.

Dwayne Smith - God knows why he is in the team. When did he perform the last time? No one knows. But he has the "potential" - to hit one or two sixes, before getting out. His bowling and fielding are a plus - probably the reason why he is in the team.

Dwayne Bravo - he of the "slow ball" expert. His batting is still suspect, but his bowling to most of the teams would be dangerous. The Indians seem to have got hold of it now, but not after suffering so many defeats. Obviously, he is bowling on home grounds, isnt he?

Marlon Samuels - Fresh from his "mobile" exploits. But, a great guy to have in the team - who can strangle opposition team with his bowling (alongside Gayle). His batting is great but needs that consistency factor.

Devon Smith is the batsman who might not play many games. He is again a player who has shown potential but not translated to big scores.

Denesh Ramdin is the lone keeper. He also suffers from the same "consistency syndrome". Since there are no reserve keepers, guess he can breathe easy and do well.

Ian Bradshaw is the lead opening bowler, who can bowl 10 overs with the new ball with great
economy. A nice-to-have batsmen at the death.

Jerome Taylor has shown potential (not again!!!) with his fast bowling, but inconsistency attacks here also.

Corey Collymore is a steady performer with the ball, not the match-winning type. But, you can never count him out on home grounds.

Daren Powell's presence in the team shows the lack of choice in the West Indies team. He has not shown any results, but still makes it to the team. Will not get many chances in the World Cup.

Lendl Simmons has been on the fringes of the West Indies team, not doing much - though he is
supposed to be one of those aggressive batsmen!!! Lets see if he gets a chance to display his wares.

Keiron Pollard is an unknown as well.
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