posted on 2019-06-10 09:51:30
posted by Sahil Jain
It’s been a different World Cup as far as the West Indies are
concerned. A couple of months back, the bowlers were thrashed around for fun by
the England batsmen while the batsmen kept trying to make it up. But every time
the bowling delivered, the Windies emerged victorious.
Before that, the ODI side seemed to be in dumps. It’s been almost five years since they last won an ODI series. Players have come and gone and have had constant issues with the board. But a few key players are back as the dispute with the board seems to be settling down. All in all, the West Indian players have put everything behind them and have come out with a refreshing approach in this World Cup.
There’s one thing that’s been noticeable about the Windies has been the fast bowling. They’ve had some legends who sent tremors down the batsmen’s spine and made them hop and jump around. The current Windies pace attack has tried to replicate that. Though they might not send tremors or shivers down the opposition they have certainly made batsmen hop and jump around.
There’s been a large percentage of the short ball strategy. But it’s not just been only short, short and short from them. They used it really well, especially to set the batsmen up. All the pacers have run in and hit the deck hard and extracted everything that’s there.
They did that against Pakistan and blew them away for a mere 105. Australia got a similar dose that Pakistan got and they were reduced to 79/5 before Steve Smith and Nathan Coulter-Nile led the resurrection act. Most of the pacers operate with high speeds. Barring Jason Holder, every fast bowler has at least touched the 140 kmph mark. The likes of Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Russell along with skipper Holder have been very effective.
However, they face South Africa next, against whom most of these pacers don’t have a great record. While Thomas has never played against the Proteas, each of Cottrell, Russell and Holder concede over 6.5 runs an over against them in ODI cricket. In fact, Cottrell concedes runs at 8.23 run an over while Russell gives away runs almost 7 runs per over against South Africa.
The economy is bad while the wickets column isn’t great either. While Russell has taken nine wickets in six games, Holder has nine wickets in as many games and Cottrell has two wickets in two games. The likes of Hashim Amla, David Miller and Faf du Plessis just love batting against the Windies. Amla is the best of the lot. He averages 81.77 while amassing 1063 runs in 15 innings against them.
The South African batting has feasted on these bowlers in the past. Hence, Windies will be up against their own record against the Proteas but will also look to protect the new reputation they’ve created. They will look to continue the good run they’ve built in the first two games.