#WIvENG 2017 ODI Series Preview

Ravi Powell ahead of the #WIvENG ODI series (WICB Photo)

by Krissania Young

Host, West Indies, have named their thirteen man squad to face England in a three-match ODI series, beginning on Friday March 3rd, at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua. The squad sees a return to international cricket for Kieran Powell and Jason Mohammed, with Alzarri Joseph being called up once again, after being forced to withdraw from the last ODI squad, due to personal reasons. Shane Dowrich, Johnson Charles, Miguel Cummins and Sulieman Benn have all been dropped from squad to Zimbabwe, last year.

West Indies Squad: Jason Holder (c), Devendra Bishoo, Carlos Brathwaite, Kraigg Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope (wk), Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell.

The West Indies are coming off a rather disappointing series in Zimbabwe. Where they failed in their bid to secure at least a spot in the final of the tri-nation. Though they started the tournament the brightest of the three teams, beating Sri Lanka by 62 runs, in their tournament opener. The Windies then failed to register another win in the competition. However, positives from the Caribbean men’s trip to Africa gives Windies fans something to look forward to-Jason Holder as a captain and potentially, and maybe finally, a stable batting order.

Windies’ Batting Order
The current batting line-up named by the West Indies has the potential to be more solid than any batting line-up the people of the Caribbean have seen in recent times. Looking at the batting potential and age of these young men; Kraigg Brathwaite (24), Kieran Powell (26), Evin Lewis (25), Jonathan Carter (29), Shai Hope (23), Rovman Powell (23), Carlos Brathwaite (28) and Jason Holder (25); one can only praise the WICB for having the vision and foresight of getting them all into the team, at the highest level, all at the same time. But also, urge them to find a way to keep these players together as they grow and gain experience. Because, as it is, inexperience is their greatest weakness. Talent has never been an issue in West Indies cricket, but having visions of the possibilities of what can happen with this batting line-up firing, one can be pardoned for getting excited.

Holder, The Captain
If we are to view Jason Holder’s stats from his last four ODIs (all four were in the tri-nation series in Zimbabwe) we will notice that he took nine wickets in those matches. One might argue in favor of the bowling conditions. But, my argument is not focused on the results of his bowling, rather the cause. In my opinion, being captain has improved his bowling. I am not just though, using his performance in one series but going back to the test matches against Pakistan (where he took nine wickets during the three-match series) where he again showed maturity in his decision making. Maturity in decisions which match statistics cannot account for. Maturity in decisions-referred to as intangibles. Match statistic and scorecards also cannot account for the pressure he applied at one end, allowing for Gabriel and company to bowl at express pace at the other. Not to mention, he just led Barbados Pride to Regional Super50 glory. It is no doubt too soon to say much more on this subject except, Jason Holder is headed in the right direction.

About the Author: Krissania Young is an ardent West Indies Cricket fan and recent blogger. With a perspective to focus on the West Indes team beyond the scorecard Krissania blogs at mostlycricket.wordpress.com/author/krissania/. A junior at Jamaica’s University of Technology, Krissania focuses on the positives in player and team performances.

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