#CWC15 PREVIEW: Confused West Indies a shadow of former self

Contentious selections are a regular occurrence for tournaments such as this, but arguably none more so than the omissions of West Indies duo Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo ahead of the 2015 World Cup.

The all-round pair were left out by the selectors, who cited a lack of form as the reason despite many believing, certainly in Bravo’s case, that the recent fallout surrounding the cancelled tour of India late last year was a huge nail in the coffin.

Bravo was one-day captain on that tour, yet he has been replaced by inexperienced fast bowler Jason Holder. The pair, surely, should be in the West Indies best one-day eleven.

Their top order still looks formidable with Dwayne Smith, Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels all set to bat in the top four, yet their middle order looks wafer thin.

In their most recent one-day international against South Africa at Johannesburg on Sunday when the hosts racked up 439-2, Test captain and wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin came in and batted at number five, probably two places too high in the order at best.

Despite the absence of Bravo and Pollard, all-round ability remains in the shape of Andre Russell and the T20 captain Darren Sammy, one of the most watchable cricketers around.

At least, after that result in South Africa, Holder knows captaincy should not get any tougher during the next two months even if they fail to qualify.

Their bowling attack will lean heavily on the experience of spinners Sulieman Benn and Sunil Narine. While Narine still bamboozles batsmen, Benn’s left-arm spin just keeps it tight and builds pressure at the other end.

The West Indies are in Pool B, and they start with a crucial fixture against Ireland in Nelson on February 16. Should they lose that fixture, nerves will increase over their quarter-final hopes.

Badger Predicts

The two-time champions in 1975 and 1979 to be the victims of an early shock at the hands of the Irish and, thus, fail to qualify for the quarters.


Jason Holder, Marlon Samuels, Darren Bravo, Chris Gayle, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Andre Russell, Darren Sammy, Jonathan Carter, Denesh Ramdin, Sunil Narine, Sheldon Cottrell, Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor, Sulieman Benn.

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