Looks like we missed it on the test team, with the limited overs leg soon to follow. We shall attempt to hit the Jackpot once more. From the Aussies visit we saw the stars shining on our beloved team more than it has since the 2004 Champions trophy triumph. Darren Sammy’s lower order slogging has definitely propelled him to the top of the list, as if his captaincy was not sufficient. Kieron Pollard, with his second international hundred, has shown a renewed sense of maturity in the middle and his knowledge of the English condition will be bonus in the quest for a series win away, however his fitness will put him in doubt after picking up an injury in the IPL. Andre Russell like Pollard is a key allrounder, his late order knock couple with his athleticism in the field give him a complete finish complemented by his quick bowling. Denesh Ramdin has again gained a reprieve with his outstanding batting in the recently completed regional four day competition and has surpassed Carlton Baugh as the first choice glove-man.
Sunil Narine continues to mesmerize batsmen with his offbreaks, dosras, and will be back to lead the charge against Cook and co. Dwayne Bravo remains a limited over commodity but his focus has waned somewhat, nevertheless his ability to be a game change with his electric fielding, bowling and especially with the bat. Bravo, D.J. remains a contender in the international game, but he has to refocus on the basics which have continued to bring him success during the various stages of his career. Like D.J. Bravo, Marlon Samuels, seemed a bit jaded versus Australia. Samuels has always been a crowd-pleaser and Windies fans will like to continue to appreciate his talents, but he too has to return to what has allowed him to grace the international arena. In the bowling department Kemar Roach Continues to stand out as a leader, alongside Ravi Rampaul, the West Indies have a fast bowling unit who are no pushovers with both ball and bat. On the fringes, Johnson Charles should be an able to continue his trade following his exploits against the Aussies at the top of the order. Chris Henry Gayle has again found the wrong end of the WICB’s graces no fault of his, however with all else equal his should be the leader at the top of the order.
Likewise utility player Lendl Simmons has recovered from injury and scoring heavily in club cricket. Simmons would be a welcomed addition with his ability to open the batting or bat at three, supplemented by his medium pace and wicket keeping talents. On the fringes of the squad are Adrian Barath, Darren Bravo and Gary Mathurin to complete the party. Stories to watch are Gayle’s renewed love hate relationship with WICB, Pollard’s recovery as well as the performances of Ramnaresh Sarwan, Brendan Nash and Kirk Edwards in England.
Team Predictor: West Indies Limited Over Squad: Darren Sammy* Dwayne Bravo (vc) Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles, Lendl Simmons, Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Ravi Rampaul, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Smith Adrian Barath, Darren Bravo, Kemar Roach, Gary Mathurin