CWC 2019: Windies name their fifteen-member squad
What's the story?
After lot of deliberation and thought, Windies selectors have named the fifteen member squad that would play the marquee event. In recent years, this is the first time when the selectors could choose from a full strength of fit and available players. Keeping that in mind, the squad looks strong and balanced and has many experienced and in-form players.
In case you didn't know...
Windies cricket has struggled in the past few years, across formats. The never ending contract issues many prominent players had with the WICB meant that never were the Windies able to field their strongest possible side.
Most of the known names who can be match-winners on any given day like Andre Russell, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, etc. hardly played for their country in the past few years. Dwayne Bravo's problem with the WICB was so deep rooted that the talismatic all-rounder decided to retire from all forms of cricket for the country and instead focus on playing in all the T20 leagues across the globe.
Finally, some truce seem to have been found and Windies could choose from the best available pool of players. Big names like Kieron Pollard, Narine, Marlon Samuels, Alzarri Joseph, and Devendra Bishoo missed out.
The heart of the matter
The fifteen member squad is led by the energetic and optimistic Jason Holder. The 'Universe Boss' Gayle is expected to open the innings along with Evin Lewis. The middle-order comprises some exciting and gifted batsmen like Darren Bravo, Shai Hope, and Shimron Hetmeyer.
Nicholas Pooran has been named as the wicket-keeper and he will be backed up by Shai Hope.
The selectors have gone in with a variety of all-rounders, both batting and bowling. Russell makes it to the squad on the basis of his heroics in the ongoing IPL where he has amassed 392 runs in nine games at a strike rate of 218. His hitting prowess will come in handy in England.
Carlos Brathwaite, Jason Holder, and Fabian Allen are the other all-rounders. The bowling attack comprises Ashley Nurse being the lone specalist spinner. The fast bowling attack looks extremely potent and threatening with names such as Kemar Roach, Shanon Gabriel, Oshane Thomas, and Sheldon Cottrell.
It has been some time since a Windies squad has fielded such strong, well known match-winners playing together. From some reason or the other, fans were left disappointed and disgruntled by watching a half-baked Windies team led admirably by Jason Holder.
Now that the World Cup squad looks formidable and seems to have all the bases covered, it's all about identifying roles for each player and backing them. Every player in this squad offers lot to the side, it's about creating an environment which allows them to thrive.
The mental and physical readiness of this team will be tested but the selectors have picked them based on talent, current form and fitness. Windies also play Ireland and Bangladesh in a tri-series before the World Cup starts and that's where the bench will be tested.
With so many proven match-winners in their squad, it wont be wrong to say that Windies would start as tournament favorites. Can they deliver on the promise and potential?
Windies squad: Jason Holder (c), Andre Russell, Ashley Nurse, Carlos Brathwaite, Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Evin Lewis, Fabian Allen, Kemar Roach, Nicholas Pooran, Oshane Thomas, Shai Hope, Shannon Gabriel, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer