England vs West Indies 2017: 5 Windies cricketers who should have been a part of this series
After their historic win in the Headingley Test match, Windies were brought back to reality. Following their loss in the first ODI at Manchester by a big margin, they lost the opportunity to automatically qualify for the ICC World Cup, 2019.
Due to issues between players and the WICB over contracts and pay disputes, most high-profile players opted out of playing for the country in the past few years.
As a result of that, the Windies ODI team is filled with young, inexperienced players. Captained by Jason Holder, they have struggled in this format of the game over the past few years.
Things seem to be improving though with the return of Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels and Jerome Taylor. Looking at this Windies team, what is clear is that they need more experience and balance to compete against a strong England team on their home soil.
Here’s looking at 5 WI cricketers who should have been a part of this ODI series:
Samuel Badree has been designated a T20 specialist. He has displayed his talents as a fine leg-spinner in T20 leagues across the globe with a good amount of success.
A modern-day leg-spinner, he is known more for his containing skills than his wicket-taking abilities. That has got to do with the fact that he bowls in the first six overs of a T20 game.
His control, accuracy and ability to curtail many batsmen who look to attack from the start make him an asset to have on the team. In a very young Windies ODI team, he can add much needed experience.
He has represented his country in 42 T20Is, grabbing 52 wickets at a very impressive average of 17.52. Certainly, this merits his selection into the ODI team.
Everyone who follows Windies cricket or the various T20 leagues around the world will be familiar with Sunil Narine. Aside from his funky hairstyle, his off-spin bowling is also lethal.
Narine rose to fame in all the formats of the game with his simple, yet complex bowling action which foxed batsmen. He was the pioneer of the carom ball along with Saeed Ajmal from Pakistan and this variation made him a match-winning bowler.
The Indian Premier League ( IPL) was instrumental in his growth. His control, guile and deceptive lengths made him a lethal weapon to have in the side.
Narine has discovered a newfound talent - his batting - which has gained prominence since last year's IPL, where an injury to Chris Lynn forced KKR to open with him. And to everyone’s surprise, he dominated the bowlers and provided rollicking starts.
Narine has played in 65 ODI games, picking up 92 wickets thus far. Narine had to remodel his action in 2016 and post that, he was no longer the wicket-taker he once was. But still, he remains a very effective bowler who can bowl tight overs.
Narine didn’t want to be a part of the ODI team to face England as he felt he was not yet physically fit for the demands of the 50-over game. But with the Windies failing to automatically qualify for the ICC World Cup and considering Narine’s form in the CPL, he should have been selected.
Windies should look at playing their best possible eleven at all times and currently Sunil Narine is their best spinner.
Darren Bravo bats with grace and poise, making him look very stylish when in full flow. He is predominantly known for the resemblance he has to the great Brian Lara in terms of his stance and back foot strokes.
The comparison with Lara has impacted him adversely as his performances in Tests and ODIs have been inconsistent. Before the emergence of Shai Hope or Kraigg Brathwaite, Bravo was the only saving grace for the Windies as he played some gritty knocks for his side.
What this current Windies ODI team lack is a left-handed batsman in the middle order and one with a good technique, capable of forming partnerships. Apart from Marlon Samuels, this current Windies team do not have a stable player in their middle order.
If Gayle and Lewis can get the team off to a flying start, then Shai Hope, Samuels and Bravo can stabilise the innings and ensure a competitive total is attained.
94 ODIs, 2595 runs at an acceptable average of 31.42 which could get better with time, Bravo should be an integral part of the set-up.
A destructive middle-order batsman capable of tearing apart quality bowling attacks, Pollard can be a useful addition to this Windies team. Currently, the ODI team lacks a finisher and more importantly a bankable, experienced all-rounder.
There is no Dwayne Bravo, and Carlos Braithwaite and Darren Sammy have been overlooked despite their performances in the T20 World Cup where the Windies were crowned champions.
Chris Gayle at the top and Pollard in the middle-order would make this Windies team much more destructive.
Rowman Powell impressed in the CPL, earning him a place in the ODI team. But with his handy medium pace bowling coupled with the variations and outstanding fielding abilities, Pollard should get first preference over Powell as they try to build a team for the World Cup.
If the Windies selectors can see value in Pollard’s destructive batting, world-class fielding abilities and handy bowling and pick him in the T20I team to face England, there shouldn’t be any doubt in selecting him in the ODI team, with an eye on forming a stable, settled unit for the World Cup.
Dinesh Ramdin has been a prominent figure in all formats for Windies in the past few years. The wicket-keeper from Trinidad has established himself as the number one in the team.
A player with a huge amount of potential, he was touted to take over as the captain post the player-WICB crisis which led to many high-profile players ruling themselves out of playing for the country.
Ramdin has been given a long run in the national team to establish himself, but he hasn’t done justice to the trust bestowed on him. Especially in ODIs, where he’s averaging 25 in 134 games, resulting in him being dropped from the side.
However, Windies wouldn’t want to over-burden Shai Hope by making him the wicketkeeper in ODIs for the long term. They need to keep a close eye on his workload and make sure he’s fit and raring to go for the World Cup.
Windes need to get Ramdin back as he has the experience this team could do with and more importantly, his inclusion will allow Hope to focus only on batting.