Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Our spinners maybe inexperienced, but it can work in our favour: Pollard. Looking past Sunil Narine, West Indies have picked only one frontline spinner in Hayden Walsh Jr
Looking past Sunil Narine, West Indies have picked only one frontline spinner in Hayden Walsh Jr
In his recent column for the ICC, former West Indian spinner Samuel Badree pointed out a glaring shortcoming in the spin department in West Indies' T20 WC squad. Sunil Narine didn't find a place in there, having done exceptionally well for KKR in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League. He returned 13 wickets since the UAE leg kicked off and it was his cameo with the bat against Royal Challengers Bangalore that took KKR past the Eliminator. However, not having featured in an international game since 2019 meant West Indies looked past him for the World Cup, picking only Hayden Walsh Jr as a specialist spinner and hoping to get by a few overs from Roston Chase and Fabian Allen.
“They have the one frontline spinner, Hayden Walsh, who had an exceptional home series quite recently. He didn't have a good Caribbean Premier League and going into this tournament, his form is not the best and his confidence might not be the best. He is quality enough to do well in the tournament, but outside of him, there aren't any out-and-out spinners. Being able to take wickets throughout the innings is so important. If the power hitters like Evin Lewis, Chris Gayle and Andre Russell can get the team to over 200 runs consistently, that area of deficit can be ignored. But if we don't score those type of runs, the bowling will be found out and the spin bowling in particular,” Badree wrote.
That said, on Saturday (October 16), West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard backed his spinners, even if they're short on experience. “In the recent past, for whatever reason, finger spinners have come back into favour. They have more control in different and difficult situations as well as to where they want to put the ball where it's needed. If you want a guy to bowl consistently to the bigger side of the ground if you have a finger spinner bowling there, he has more control. We have a couple of finger spinners in our armoury as well and hopefully we can maximize the dimensions of the ground and whatever spin is there at any given time, he can use that. Yes, our spinners might not be experienced, but that can work in our favour.”
A lot of the players picked in West Indies' squad were in the UAE and played in the IPL, which was perfect preparation for the global tournament. Getting accustomed and adapting to the surfaces and conditions in the UAE ahead of the tournament will be key in success of teams.
“It was good, not only us but all the players who are involved in this World Cup to get a feel for what UAE has to offer. I'm sure some interesting stats, comparisons, some different kind of trends may have come out of the recently-concluded IPL. You have to take those into consideration, the context of the surfaces, the atmosphere and put in into your game plan and try to plan according to the opposition. For us, most of our guys got the opportunity to play in the IPL in the UAE. Trying to start on a positive note and get the first points and see what happens after that,” he said.
Of those in the UAE was Chris Gayle with Punjab Kings, but the veteran batsman exited the franchise's bubble in the need for a break. Gayle now needs just 97 runs to become the highest run-scorer in T20 WCs too. This year, however, has been a lean one for Gayle, who has scored just 227 runs in 16 T20Is, averaging 17.46.
“No words to describe what he has done for us in T20 cricket or in World Cups or T20 WCs. The guy with the most amount of runs, most amount of sixes, the fear that he instils in bowlers when he's standing at the opposite end. So he may be 97 runs away but I don't think he'd be looking at that. For us and him the main goal is to win a WC and defend the title and he's looking forward to it. He did take a break in the IPL because he needed it because obviously this is also a big tournament for him. I hope everyone understood the nature of what transpired because living in bubbles after bubbles can be difficult. If a guy who enjoys himself in any situation can't take it, then it may be difficult for some for us. Hopefully he comes and delivers for us,” added Pollard.