World Cup 2019 WINDIES versus Pakistan preview

Thu, May 30, '19

by KRISSANIA YOUNG

WI World Cup

The West Indies will enter the fray of the 2019 World Cup on the second day of competition, when they take on Pakistan at Trent Bridge on Friday morning. The pat on the back the team so required, arrived just in time in the form of a huge win against the Kiwis in what was the final warm-up game for both teams.

The batting display was a reminder, for those who needed one, that the West Indies can indeed go head-to-head with anyone, willow in hand. However, those of us who are informed will know that the worry remains at the door of the bowlers. And in a tournament where runs will be aplenty; teams will need their bowling attacks to stand out – for the right reasons.

In some ways, the balance of this WINDIES unit will rest on the fitness and/or role of one Andre Russell (well, as balanced as a team can be without a death-bowler).

Assuming the West Indies will have Jason Holder as the fourth seamer and Ashley Nurse as the lone spinning option; Russell should, in theory, be able to offer a maximum of four overs – if the other five bowlers execute. Considering the injury worries which plague the Jamaican, it would have been ideal if he was not required to bowl at all: which would have been the case if a member of the WINDIES top-order was capable of offering those overs.

The most underrated batsman in the WINDIES ranks might just be Evin Lewis. Some seem to forget just how destructive the left-hander is, even more so away from home. 

Much has been made of the form of Darren Bravo, or the lack thereof; but, it is expected that the left-hander will feature against Pakistan.

It just might be a toss-up between Oshane Thomas and Shannon Gabriel when contemplating who will have a place in the final XI tomorrow. However, Holder has been employing Thomas and his natural wicket-taking ability at the end of the first powerplay, going into the second, as compensation for the lack of wicket-taking slower options in the middle-over. Therefore, the youngster might just get the nod. 

The lamentation continues, as we must mention, once more, that the West Indies enters the tournament without a specialist death-bowler; a decision they will have to shoulderresponsibility for and most likely rue.

Over the past five, the average batting first at Trent Bridge has been 361. Teams batting first have gone one to win on three of the six occasions during this time— tying once. Teams have set scores of 340 or more on four occasions, surpassing 440 twice. While scores in excess of 340 have been successfully chased twice.

Predicted XI; Gayle, Lewis, Hope (wk), DM Bravo, Hetmyer, Holder, Russell, Nurse, Roach, Cottrell, Thomas.

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