West Indies 15 man squad: D. Sammy (c), Dwayne. Bravo (v/c), S. Badree, Darren. Bravo, J. Charles, F. Edwards, C. Gayle, K. Pollard, S. Narine, D. Ramdin (wkt), R. Rampaul, A. Russell, M. Samuels, L. Simmons, D. Smith
The West Indies have a genuine front line chance of winning this. They are not really underdogs at all. They have powerhouse batting lineup with IPL stars and the best bowler in the IPL who recieved the player of the tournament. The likes of Pollard, Samuels, and the Bravos back up the powerful Gayle and his probable partner Simmons or Smith.
T20 World cup record : P:13 W:6 WIn % : 46.15% L:7 NR/T:0
Best performance: Semi finals 2009
With the bat:
Chris Gayle is the obvious star man. He has a SR of 143.91 with 7 fifties, 1 ton and 67 sixes. He holds the most runs for the WI in T20 Internationals and also the most T20 International 50’S for them. Gayle’s 2012 IPL stats are also daunting with 733 runs (the most), 59 sixes (the most). and plenty of hundreds.
Dwayne Bravo provides big hitting and a SR of 130.19. He has 3 fifties and 22 sixes. He is a swashbuckling right handed all rounder who will be invaluable both with bat and ball. In a potentially very unstable unit capable of special things he could be the glue. His Brother may not play all the games with spaces in the side hard to get, but his brother has the Brian Lara flair about him. Not to the same extent or ability, but he is also a special player in tests and ODI at least.
Marlon Samuels has had an incredible breakthrough year batting his career back on the road to success. He has been successful in Tests and T20 but not so successful in the IPL or in International T20. If his good form continues he could be devastating. However, if he fails the middle order could quickly collapse.
Dwayne Smith and Kieron Pollard are two allrounders that will also offer some huge six hitting power and useful medium pace. Pollard is definitely a hot and cold batsmen. Either he goes crazy or he gets a duck, but he can make some of Chris Gayle’s hits look like lobs sometimes. He hits it seriously hard and long. Smith also a big hitter with English county experience.
With the ball – Seamers:
Darren Sammy will use accuracy and variation such as slower balls, cutters and swing ( 31 wickets at 17.48 average.) He isn’t fast but is useful in T20 because of his control and variations.
Ravi Rampaull (18 International T20 wickets) bowls disciplined lines and lengths and can swing the ball. Good to both left and right handers he is steady but not too threatening.
Fidel Edwards will provide the pace and bounce but can be inconsistent, regularly leaking runs and bowling extra’s. On Sri Lankan pitches it might be very unforgiving.
With the ball – Spinner:
Sunil Narine – Domestic T20 average of 13.58 which is exceptional. He was player of the tournament in the IPL 2012 with 24 wickets at an average of 13.50. He maintains a very low economy of 5.47 and a low average indicating simply that he takes wickets and gives control to the captain. He is surely the man to watch. He can however only bowl 4 overs a match so someone else needs to stand up and help.
Darren Sammy – Captain, steady bowler and useful lower order striker. Under his captaincy in 2012 the West Indies beat NZ in a test series in addition to 5 ODI wins out of a possible 7 and 2 T20Is wins out of 3 . He has handled the side well and makes useful contributions. The only possible issue is that the side carry him a little bit. His place is not there on merit entirely, there are certainly better bowlers than him around.
West Indies are a very Batting heavy side. Gayle, Smith Pollard Dwayne and Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels pack the batting line-up but apart from Sunil Narine there is limited bowling stocks. Sammy is not so much threatening but steady. Rampaull accurate but not dangerous and Edwards offers pace but is often wayward.
The West Indies need big scores from their powerhouse batting lineup. Batting is their strength. If they can do this with the likes of Narine, Rampaull and Edwards in the bowling stocks, there is no reason why they cannot win the tournament. They should cruise past Ireland to join the Aussies in the semi’s. I wouldn’t put it past them to defeat the Aussies. The issue for them is an over reliance on their enigmatic opener Gayle and their slightly light bowling stocks.