The Windies had a humiliation to face when they had to qualify for the current World Cup despite being two-time champions. In the qualifying tournament played in Zimbabwe in March last year, the Caribbeans made the final but lost to Afghanistan and hence joined the fray as the 10th of 10 teams. For a side that had terrorized the rest decades back, the experience was not too happy.
But after their recent surge against England at home and the individual brilliance of players in the recent Indian Premier League (IPL), the Windies are being given more weight. They beat England in the Test series while the high-scoring ODI series was drawn 2-2. In the IPL, Andre Russell was in a superhuman form, exciting the West Indian fans. And there is the Universe Boss – Chris Gayle.
Former cricketers Anil Kumble and Kevin Pietersen have already predicted the Caribbeans producing something special in this World Cup and going by the early indications of their opening game against Pakistan at Trent Bridge, the former greats’ prediction might not be off the target. Jason Holder’s men picked 10 Pakistani wickets for 105 runs after winning the toss and sending them to bat.
It will be a high scoring World Cup
“I think India, England, Australia (will be in the semi-finals) and then the ‘dark horses’ I think will be West Indies,” Kumble was quoted as saying by a report in the ICC.
Also predicting the World Cup this year to be a high-scoring affair, the former India captain added: “Yeah, I think it will be a high scoring World Cup. There will be some games which probably will not be that kind of high scoring games but then the way England pitches are, generally there will be high scoring game.”
Pietersen, who has also captained England in the past picked England, India and Australia as the semi-finalists and preferred the West Indies over Pakistan, who he called an unpredictable team, to complete the line-up.
“As long as the weather is fine during the tournament, I think the numbers are gonna be frightening. There are gonna be some big scores,” the former batsman said.