An uphill task for rejuvenated West Indies

An uphill task for rejuvenated West Indies

West Indies had a disastrous start to their Super Eight campaign when they were thrashed by 57 runs by Sri Lanka but the hosts bounced back in style beating India by 14 runs to bag two points.

But that is just half the job done as they will have to win against Australia and hope that India beats Sri Lanka in the first match of the day to clear their way to the semifinals.
However, if Sri Lanka beats India and West Indies loses to Australia then it will come down to the net run rate to decide the second team and this is a position where Chris Gayle’s men would not want to see themselves in.

Luckily for the West Indies, Gayle has struck form at the right time when he decimated India with a 66-ball 98 on Sunday and Shivnarine Chanderpaul also looked in good touch.
But the rest of the batting lineup would be a worry for West Indies as none of the players could make a mark during their last two matches.

Keiron Pollard, the costliest buy in IPL III, has failed to live up to his expectations and all-rounders Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo have been mediocre too.

Besides batting, West Indies bowling has also been inconsistent as they were ripped apart by England in the league matches before being butchered by Sri Lanka in their first Super Eight Group F match. Kemar Roach has been the most successful bowler for them and Bravo has also been among the wickets but their all-rounders have been duds so far and over all West Indies bowling has been expensive and error-prone. Australia, on the other hand, have been arguably the best team in the tournament, boasting of good balance in batting and bowling.

Shane Watson and David Warner have been destructive in the opening slot and have given Australia good starts. The middle-order batsmen like the Hussey brothers — Michael and David — and Cameron White have done well. The only disappointment has been the form of skipper Michael Clarke.

Among the bowlers, Dirk Nannes has led the charge, claiming 12 wickets to emerge as the highest wicket-taker in the tournament so far.

Nannes has been ably supported by Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson, who have captured eight and six wickets so far.

Spinner Steven Smith has also bagged six wickets to contribute to his team’s success.