The most successful team in the T20 World Cups, the West Indies, will be commencing their tournament by facing one of their toughest competitors England. They will be aiming to win their 3rd title as they move forward proving themselves as a threat to every team in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021.
From Chris Gayle striking those 16 sixes in the 2012 edition, the most scored by any player, and becoming Champions for the first time – then followed by the irreplaceable last over in the final against England in 2016 – defines that they are the defending champions for a reason and are the so-called masters of the shortest form of the game.
The upcoming edition will be the first Men’s T20 World Cup played since 2016 when West Indies beat England in the final in India. They are placed in Group One of the tournament which can also be called the ‘group of elites’ in cricket given the dangerous teams in it – West Indies, Australia, England, and South Africa.
Also, the matches in this group are expected to be nail-biting and thrilling encounters are highly expected by each T20 cricket fan.
The Men in Maroon surprise again!
The West Indies announced their World Cup squad a few days back and it was quite a surprise for the fans as there was no place for Braithwaite who famously hit four consecutive sixes off Ben Stokes in the final over of the 2016 World Cup to win the game for his country.
However, the 36-year-old Ravi Rampaul is back into the squad for the first time in six years. It is quite a surprise for the fans as he is expected to boost the team’s wicket-taking options in the power-play and the middle phase and will provide another option for the death overs as told and expected by the experts. He was also a part of the 2012’s winning squad.
Another surprising and notable name in the 15 player squad, earning a call to play T20I for the first time is Boston Chase, selected due to his form in the Caribbean Premier League. He will be an explosive addition to the team.
Why the Caribbeans are a threat to every team?
The defending Champions have played 56 T20 Internationals from 2017-present. Let us have a look at how the Caribbeans have fared in them throughout these years.
Looking at the graph of data above it is pretty clear that the Caribbean players are in form and are performing at their peak in the T20s during this year, making them a raging force in this format of the game. With the World Cup approaching, they are seen to be gaining momentum in their performance which is a positive sign for the defending Champions.
The team is known to be filled with T20 specialists. Exceptional power hitters like Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo, Evin Lewis, etc are also some of the giants of the Men in Maroon which will be fruitful to watch in the upcoming clashes. Also, to mention that their bowlers are seen to be showing continuous improvement. The team this time will rely on most of the quality all-rounders that are a part of the squad.
Also, observing the above graph it is seen how inconsistent they’ve been in their performances until the rise in the graph since the beginning of 2021- present where they’ve won and losing few.
Now, let us have a glance at the West Indies squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021.
Kieron Pollard (C), Nicholas Pooran (VC), Chris Gayle, Fabien Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Roston Chase, Andre Fletcher, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh.
Standby players: Darren Bravo, S Cottrell, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein
What to expect from West Indies this coming tournament?
If we consider the no. of World cup T20s that the Men in Maroon have appeared, it is seen that they have played for 31 World Cup matches and have won 18 out of them with a win percentage of 58% which makes them a raging force in the World Cup.
The addition of Ravi Rampaul who is a highly experienced bowler has been performing well in the domestic leagues in the Caribbean is expected to boost the team’s wicket-taking options in the power-play and the middle phase and might be able to provide another option for the death overs. But on the other hand, playing domestic leagues is different while this time the teams are going to play at neutral locations – it will be interesting to see how Rampaul affects the positive outcomes for the Caribbean side.
The new addition of youngsters to the team is also expected to contribute to the overall outcomes.
The explosive top order- Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons
The mighty middle-order- Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Kieron Pollard (c)
The most reliable all-rounders- Andre Russell, Jason Holder, Hayden Walsh, Dwayne Bravo
The bowlers- Ravi Rampaul, Obed Mccoy
Players to look for-
The explosive top order comprising of Gayle, Lewis, and Simmons are the ones who have been constantly appearing for the T-20s for the year 2021. Observing through the data we have considered these three batsmen’s matches played, runs scored, and the strike rate which is one of the vital requirements for the shortest format of the game.
Now observing the Bowling figures for the year 2021 it is seen that Obed Mccoy and Dwayne Bravo have been performing at their peaks since recent times.
Also, Hayden Walsh can be seen as a resourceful bowler affecting the overall performance of the team at recent times.
Now let us have a look at the probable eleven for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Kieron Pollard (c), Nicholas Pooran (wk), Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell, Jason Holder, Hayden Walsh, Obed Mccoy.