World Cup 2019: Match 23, WI vs BAN - West Indies' Predicted Playing 11 & Key Players
West Indies and Bangladesh, two teams that started the 2019 World Cup on a very promising note haven't really been able to carry that momentum forward in their next few games. Both West Indies and Bangladesh were regarded as dark horses for the fourth semi-final spot but they have been plagued by inconsistency and poor decision making.
This is especially applicable to West Indies as they lost a winnable match against Australia and then put up a very bad performance against England in their last match. The talented side has been unable to curb their T20 instincts and adapt to one-day cricket requirements. West Indies are not just suffering temperament-related issues as a key player, Andre Russell has also been struggling with injuries throughout the World Cup.
So, considering this, let's have a look at the predicted playing 11 for West Indies.
Openers - Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis
There will be no change at the top of the order as the explosive combination of Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis look set to retain their spots. Both of them will look to take advantage of the short boundaries at Taunton in order to notch up their first major contribution in the World Cup.
Middle-order - Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer
West Indies' star batsman Shai Hope has been slightly disappointing so far in the World Cup. He has not batted as well as he was playing in the last 12-18 months in ODIs. Strike-rotation has been a huge problem and this has created pressure on the other batsmen. Hope will look to correct that in the game against Bangladesh.
On the other hand, Nicholas Pooran has been arguably the best batsman for West Indies until now. Pooran has shown a lot of maturity and adapted to various situations in order to top the batting charts for the West Indies. He will look to continue that throughout the World Cup.
Meanwhile, Shimron Hetmyer has also been a disappointment just like Shai Hope. He has only had two opportunities to bat so far. Hence, one would hope that the talented left-hander will hit the ground running very soon.
All-rounders - Andre Russell, Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite
Andre Russell is under a huge injury cloud considering his dodgy back, wrist and knees but he is too important for West Indies and hence he will be expected to play this crucial match against Bangladesh.
Captain Jason Holder has flown under the radar in this tournament. He scored a fifty against Australia in a losing cause but with the ball, his performances haven't been effective.
The final fast-bowling all-rounder's spot will be taken up by Carlos Brathwaite. Brathwaite will be expected to chip in with 5-6 overs while also contributing with a few lusty blows during the death overs.
Bowlers - Ashley Nurse, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas
Without a spinner, the West Indian attack lacked variety. So, one can expect West Indies to go back to their previous bowling combination by bringing back Ashley Nurse for Shannon Gabriel.
The two quick bowlers, Sheldon Cottrell and Oshane Thomas, have been pretty good. Their extra pace has been important to enforce the team's short-bowling tactic. Due to their wicket-taking ability, West Indies haven't worried about their economy rate. West Indies will look towards the pacers yet again to rattle a strong Bangladesh batting line-up.
Chris Gayle: The 'Universe Boss' will look to get a big score against Bangladesh at Taunton on Monday. The County Ground at Taunton has short boundaries and that might play into Gayle's hands. Not just that, Gayle will look to make use of familiar conditions considering that he has played for Somerset in the T20 Blast.
Even though he scored a fifty against Pakistan. it has to be said that Gayle hasn't been at his best so far in the World Cup. The Bangladesh bowling attack hasn't been in great form and this match will provide the best opportunity for Gayle to regain his flow.
Shai Hope: Hope came into the World Cup as one of the batsmen to watch out for and it was understandable given his astounding form. Since 1 January 2018 till the start of the World Cup, Hope had scored 1460 runs at an average of 66.36 with five centuries. His strike rotation had also improved to an unrecognizable extent when compared to his initial days as an ODI cricketer.
But somehow, his old issue of getting into a shell has crept up again. This has not only affected him but also his partners who have also felt the need to increase the run rate due to Hope's low strike rate. As a result, a few unnecessary wickets have been conceded in the last two completed games. West Indies will need Hope to be a lot more proactive and hold the team together like he has done in the past couple of years.
Oshane Thomas: Against England, Oshane Thomas and the other West Indian fast-bowlers overused the short ball and as a result, the bowling attack lacked penetration. However, it would be unlikely for Thomas and Co. to give up a tactic that brought them a lot of success in the first two games against Pakistan and Australia. So, one could expect the West Indian bowling attack to bombard the Bangladesh batting line up with a lot of bouncers.
West Indies would need to pick early wickets as Bangladesh have a very strong and experienced batting unit. Given that he is the quickest West Indian bowler, Oshane Thomas will be at the forefront and will carry a lot of responsibility.
Predicted Playing 11 for West Indies
Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope (WK), Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell, Jason Holder (C), Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas.
Also read - Highest batting average in world cup