Just two wins from 9 games and finishing on second last in the points table don’t make for pretty reading for any team. But that is precisely how West Indies finished in the ICC World Cup 2019. Their World Cup campaign ended with a narrow win against Afghanistan on a good batting deck. But West Indies will be far from satisfied with the kind of results they achieved.
Before the tournament began, West Indies were labeled as the outside favorites given the firepower in their batting and the variety in their bowling. They started with a bang too in their very first game – bowling out Pakistan for 105 and then winning by seven wickets. It looked like West Indies had arrived.
In their next game against Australia, West Indies had them at 79-5 at one point and looked in total control of the match. But from there, Australia went on to post 288. And West Indies, despite being 216-5 in the 38th over, went on to lose the game by 15 runs.
Since that loss, the West Indians couldn’t get going. They had chances in every game they played. But couldn’t grab the big moments and lacked a professional approach that cost them the matches.
It is also unfortunate that their game against South Africa – where they had them at 29-2 in the 8th over – was washed out. Given South Africa’s insipid show, West Indies might have closed out the game. That wasn’t to be, though. And despite having high chances in the games against Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka, they squandered those opportunities and let the match slip from their hands.
Another major factor that hurt West Indies was the injury to their star all-rounder Andre Russell. With his amazing striking abilities, Russell was expected to set the tournament on fire. But he was down with injury from the beginning and couldn’t give his best. Eventually, Russell was forced out of the competition leaving a big hole in the West Indian batting and bowling unit.
Hence, it is a disappointing end to the World Cup campaign for the promising West Indian side. Despite the result, though, the team should be positive. Jason Holder led the team efficiently, and the squad has a lot of young and exciting talents that are likely to bloom in the future.
The likes of Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, and Fabian Allen emerged as incredible talents for the future. They are all young, and with more opportunities, they are likely to make a more significant impact in the days to come. Shai Hope wasn’t consistent but still showed his class in a few games. Carlos Brathwaite too showed he could produce magic with his stunning 101 against New Zealand which took his team very close to victory from dire straits.
Sheldon Cottrell was the best bowler for the West Indies in this World Cup, and the fast bowler has a bright future. Oshane Thomas went for runs but did pick up wickets too and was impressive in bursts. With some guidance, he can be better as he is so young. Jason Holder was reliable as well, and when Andre Russell returns, the West Indian bowling will get more teeth.
Hence, this West Indian team does have potential despite the results they had in World Cup 2019. They need to keep the faith in the youngsters and keep trying to iron out the flaws. With time and proper nurturing, they can still emerge as a robust ODI outfit in the coming years.