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West Indies

High five: West Indies have a tough draw

High five: West Indies have a tough draw

West Indies squad
Darren Sammy (capt)
Adrian Barath
Carlton Baugh
Sulieman Benn
Dwayne Bravo
Darren Bravo
Shivnarine Chanderpaul
Chris Gayle
Nikita Miller
Kieron Pollard
Ravi Rampaul
Kemar Roach
Andre Russell
Ramnaresh Sarwan
Devon Smith

Overview

West Indies possess a squad that looks capable of challenging any in the world, yet they come into the World Cup on the back of two years' miserable form in the 50-over game.

Despite high-class batting stocks in the form of Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo and Shiv Chanderpaul, game-changing all-rounders like Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard, spin threat from Sulieman Benn and the raw pace of Kemar Roach, the Windies have won just nine of their 37 ODIs in the last 24 months, and four of those victories came against Zimbabwe.

They are a curious side, prone to dramatic batting collapses and defeats in games that really ought to have been won.

Their recent record does not inspire confidence and, placed in Group B alongside improving Bangladesh and the most dangerous of the Associate nations, Ireland, Darren Sammy's side may be the most vulnerable of the 'Big Eight' during the first-round stage.

Strengths

Sammy: captain West Indies

There's a good blend of youth and experience throughout the side, with seasoned campaigners like Gayle, Sammy, Chanderpaul and Dwayne Bravo alongside exciting youngsters such as Darren Bravo and Roach.

If, as seems likely, this is to be a batsman-dominated tournament then the West Indies are certainly not short of players who can clear the ropes.

Gayle remains one of the game's great attacking batsmen, while Kieron Pollard can change any game in an instant with his explosive hitting.

The all-round talents of Pollard, Gayle and Dwayne Bravo also give plenty of depth to both the batting and bowling.

Weaknesses

Gayle: experienced campaigner

A truly awful record over the last two years means the West Indies cannot possibly travel with any confidence.

They have won just three and lost a whopping 24 of their last 27 completed ODIs against Test-playing nations, and turning that kind of form around during a major tournament will be a huge task.

There remains a sense that this is a side that crumbles when pressure is applied.

However, there is plenty of individual talent in this squad. Can and will they pull together often enough as a team when times are tough?

Six-hitter - Kieron Pollard

Pollard: explosive

By no means the best or most consistent batsman in the West Indian ranks, but undoubtedly the most destructive - even accounting for the presence of Chris Gayle.

Pollard is a truly modern cricketer: a household name and big earner despite playing just 20 first-class matches and no Tests.

And that's almost entirely down to his explosive power hitting. Despite averaging just 18 in ODI cricket, he has cleared the ropes 22 times in just 29 innings and can destroy any attack in the world on his day.

Strike bowler - Kemar Roach

Roach: seriously quick

There have been many pretenders to the fast-bowling crown of the great West Indies sides of yesteryear, but they may have found the real deal in 22-year-old Kemar Roach, a searingly quick fast bowler in the finest West Indian tradition.

Regularly clocks speeds well above 90mph, possesses a vicious bouncer and, crucially for the sub-continent, a yorker that zones in on the base of the stumps.

Goes into the World Cup averaging well under 30 with the ball in all three international formats, and with his 26 ODI wickets costing just 22 apiece at a very acceptable economy rate.

Look out for...Darren Bravo

Bravo: next Brian Lara?

A left-handed middle-order batsman with dramatic high backlift and outrageous array of strokes, 22-year-old Darren Bravo - younger brother of Dwayne - has already been saddled with the impossible task of becoming the "next Brian Lara".

For all the obvious similarity in technique, Bravo is clearly unlikely to come close to his hero's records. But that's not to say he can't enjoy a stellar career of his own, and all the early signs are encouraging. He's made three half-centuries in his first four Test innings and enjoyed a solid start to his ODI career.

Bravo possesses all the shots but is particularly strong on the drive, and has impressed observers with a cool, calm temperament belying his youth.

With a wealth of experience around him in the Windies' middle-order, the youngster should flourish in the sub-continent and announce himself as a major new star.

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