Although the 7th edition of the T20 World Cup is scheduled to take place in Australia in October, pundits and fans are already speculating on the outcome.
However, one of the questions being asked is whether the global pandemic coronavirus will negatively impact the plans for this world event.
That said, leading up to the tournament, Pakistan and Australia are ranked as the number 1 and 2 teams, respectively.
Windies, on the other hand, do not have much bragging rights. They are sitting at number 10, which is below Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.
The Caribbean team is the defending champions having won the 2016th edition by beating the hosts in the semifinal and beating England in the dramatic final in which Carlos Braithwaite famously hit four consecutive sixes off Ben Stokes’ bowling to become the first team to win the T20 World Cup for the second time.
The boyz from the Caribbean have the potential to go all the way to win the T20 World Cup one more time, and only a neophyte would bet against them.
In the recently concluded series against Sri Lanka, they comfortably beat the hosts 2-0. In the series, Kieron Pollard, who was named the captain in September last year, became the first man to play 500 T20 matches. Oshane Thomas performed well with the ball, while Lendl Simmons, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer all step up to the plate with the bat.
At the same time, Andre Russell gained his form and was judged the man of the series for his all-round standout performance.
Windies star opening batter Chris Gayle last played T20I for the Windies more than a year ago, and it now seems that the team can move on without him.
So, the leading Windies opener may well decide to make way for the likes of Lendl Simmons, Ewin Lewis, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, who are all showing their class in the batting department.
On the other hand, Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrel, Fabian Allen, and Andre Russell are creating a balance to the team as the main bowlers.
Of course, one cannot overlook the wily Dwayne Bravo, who has made a comeback in the team and will most certainly play in the mega event.
Former Windies superstar Brian Lara has already given his first take on the event by positing that the upcoming IPL will play a massive role in finalizing the team for the T20 World Cup.
“I think the IPL is going to be a huge point or signal for who is actually going to carry on, it’s still going to be five months after the IPL for the World Cup. Fitness levels are very important, but a gruesome tournament like the IPL is going to tell the West Indies selectors who are the players that they really need going into the last four months of preparation for the World Cup,” said Lara.
Remaining Fixtures before T20 World Cup
Windies will play a couple of series at home before the start of the T20 World Cup.
- New Zealand – 3-Match T20I Series (15 – 19 July)
- South Africa – 5-Match T20I Series (8 – 16 August)
T20 World Cup Fixtures
Windies will open their World Cup campaign against two-times semi-finalists New Zealand, who is currently ranked 6th. The details of their fixtures are:
1st Match vs. New Zealand – 25 October 2020
2nd Match vs. Australia – 28 October 2020
3rd Match vs. Qualifier – 30 October 2020
4th Match vs. Pakistan – 3 November 2020
5th Match vs. Qualifier – 7 November 2020
With the combination of power-hitting, fast-bowling skills, and situation awareness, Windies have the players on whom they can rely and must be counted among the favorites to win the World Cup.
They have big match players who can perform on the day, and the world will be watching to see whether the team will play to expectations.
Contributor, Readers Bureau
Edited by Jesus Chan
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