The last time the West Indies played T-20 cricket, it was a painful reminder of how far we have regressed in a format of cricket which we have dominated in the big competitions.
The consensus among fans was that the team needed to let go of the underperforming senior players and focus on the future with younger players.
The selection panel has acceded to the pressure by selecting young and promising players in the series against the Pakistanis in the Asian continent.
Below are the profiles of four of these players and their potential contribution to the team.
Number 4 Gudakesh Motie — the young Guyanese spin bowler is one of the young talents that have emerged in the region. He has appeared for the West Indies and Guyana at the under 19 levels.
He matriculated to the Guyanese senior team in 2015 and made his debut in the 4-day regional tournament.
In 2021, he put in a solid debut performance in the Caribbean Premier League tournament proving his potential value in the shortest format.
In just six matches, Motie took eight wickets at a respectable economic rate of 6.52, which ranked him as 22nd and 11th in the standings.
Motie also had recorded an impressive bowling average of 15.50, ranked 9th, and a best of 3 for 25.
He is poised to contribute with the ball in Asia, and good performances could lead to regular selection to the squad.
Number 3 Romario Shepherd — Of the four players in this list, Shepherd has the most experience on the international stage with a combined thirteen matches in white-ball cricket.
However, Shepherd’s short career has been plagued with inconsistencies. The selectors will be hoping that Romario can step up to plate and deliver on the big stage.
The Guyanese right-arm fast bowler had a good CPL tournament, he finished tied for second in the standings with 18 wickets and did so in just nine games.
He had a tremendous average of 14.88 and a best of 3 wickets for 15 runs. He showed his capacity to contribute with the bat scoring 109 runs.
He also enjoyed a solid stint in the Abu Dhabi T-10, where he produced 7 wickets and scored 142 runs for the Dehli Bulls.
With the likes of Pollard and Russell missing, Romario can stake a claim with some big performances in this series.
Number 2 Odean Fabian Smith — the young Jamaican will relish another chance to impress selectors against Pakistan.
Smith made his T-20 debut for the Men in Maroon ironically against the same opponents and in the Asian continent in 2018.
He picked up only two wickets in those two matches and was smashed for 78 runs at a poor economic rate.
However, Smith has shown resiliency and has rebounded from his rough start by producing consistently in recent times.
He had a fine display in the 2021 CPL by taking 18 wickets in 11 matches which was tied for 2nd as most in the tournament. He also enjoyed this success with a bowling average of 14.88 and had a best of 3 wickets for 20 runs.
He has built momentum towards selection by scoring 139 runs and 11 wickets respectively for the Deccan Gladiators in Abu Dhabi as they emerged as champions in Abu Dhabi.
Smith also proved he has potential by being a handy batsman scoring 126 runs with 12 sixes and 6 fours. Smith could be a good contributor with bat and ball based on his recent exploits in 2021.
Number 1 Dominic Drakes — another potential debutant in the series will be the Barbadian Dominic Drakes.
The 23-year-old Barbadian made his debut for his national team against Jamaica in January 2018.
Drakes has steadily grown into a specialist white ball player, and the talented left-arm seamer keeps getting better and better after each tournament.
In the 2021 CPL, Drake dropped his name in the hat for selection by delivering for his franchise, the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots. Drakes recorded 16 wickets in 11 matches for a 4th place rank on the bowling list. He recorded a best of 3 wickets for 26 and an average of 20.68.
After his success, Drakes made a cameo appearance for the Chennai Super Kings and recently played for Delhi Bulls in the Abu Dhabi T-10.
He starred for the team taking 19 wickets in 12 matches to finish second in the wickets table and lead his team to a 2nd place finish.
The management will hope that Drakes brings that winning form into the Pakistan series.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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