Before beginning the discussion today let us first know the meaning of “Dark Horse”. A Dark Horse is one about which we have little knowledge and may emerge prominent or may succeed. West Indies is a good team that has good players, but is not good in rankings. The team may have chances to win since the players in the team are good.
Players like Gayle, Hetmyer, Pooran and Russell have performed exceedingly well in the 2019 edition of IPL. But we shouldn’t forget the fact that the World Cup format is different and the competition is more severe. While players are much more aggressive in T-20 format, the 50 over format is the complete opposite.
The last time West Indies reached the finals of World Cup was 36 years ago, in 1983. That was the first time that India lifted the World Cup Trophy and the last appearance of West Indies in a World Cup final. Prior to 1983, West Indies won the inaugural World Cup in the year 1975 and the second one in the year 1979 which, incidentally, was the second World Cup. Those were the days of West Indies supremacy in cricket with legends like Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards, Malcolm Marshal, Andy Roberts, Joel Garner, Desmond Haynes, Gordon Greenidge representing the all conquering team.
So, let us analyze the West Indian Squad.
The team has Jason Holder as the Captain. Holder can be termed as a versatile player since he is an all- rounder. He bats well, bowling is his specialty and is a consistent captain. Under his captaincy, the team’s winning percentage is a little over 52%. Being just 27 years old, he is the leader of a team that has many senior players like Chris Gayle. Holder is one of the best in business when it comes to bowling. He has taken a total of 119 wickets in 90 matches with an economy of 5.54.
The bowling squad has 7 bowlers namely Sheldon Cottrell, Shanon Gabriel, Ashley Nurse, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas, Jason Holder and Andre Rusell. Out of these 8, three are all-rounders, four are fast bowlers and one spinner. While Holder, Rusell and Brathwaite are all-rounders, Nurse is the sole spinner. Allen, Thomas, Cottrell and Gabriel are fast bowlers. Below is a table enlisting the West Indies bowlers.
Name of the Player
|Oshane Thomas||8||413||15||7.22|| |
On observing closely, we can conclude that the all the bowlers are good and have sufficient wickets with respect to the number of matches that they have played. While Fabian Allen has played the least number of matches and has taken any ODI Wicket till date, the highest wicket taker is Jason Holder with 119 wickets.
As soul is to body, batting is to team. Having world class bowlers is a boon but not having a good batting order is a bane. But this is not the case with West Indies. The batting squad comprises of ace batsmen like Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Fabian Allen and wicket keepers Nicholas Pooran and Shai Hope. Following is the table enlisting all the players.
|Name||Matches||Not Out||Runs||Highest|| |
|Chris Gayle||283||16||10151||215|| |
|Evin Lewis||34||0||1010||176|| |
|Darren Bravo||103||10||2794||124|| |
|Shimron Hetmyer||24||2||899||127|| |
|Fabian Allen||4||0||25||52|| |
We can easily make out that Chris Gayle is the best batsmen in the team and has scored over 10,000 runs. While the least number of matches have been played by Fabian Allen who has scored just 25 runs. Hetmyer has the highest strike rate and is a good batsman.
Windies may not have won an ODI World Cup recently but they are the reigning T20 Champions and since the team is a good one this time, there are bright chances that they may clinch the ODI World Cup trophy after 41 years.