After the shock glory of 2016 that saw the West Indies crowned T20 champions of the world, all has not been well in the island nation’s camp.
The prevalence of T20 leagues recently has seen the West Indies suffer a drain on the local talent willing to play for their national side. Last year’s T20 World Cup saw a side that was a shadow of itself, with the West Indies finishing 5th in their pool and failing to progress to the knockout stage of the tournament.
Now, a year later, the country is looking to rebuild for the T20 World Cup 2022. With two debutants and the recall of Evin Lewis for the first time this year, the West Indies have announced their T20 World Cup squad that will be traveling to Australia in October.
Here is our breakdown of the West Indies full squad for the T20 World Cup in Australia, taking a detailed look at each selection.
Rovman Powell, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Evin Lewis, Kyle Mayers, Jason Holder, Yannic Cariah, Raymon Reifer, Nicholas Pooran (captain), Johnson Charles, Sheldon Cottrell, Akeal Hosein, Odean Smith, Alzarri Joseph and Obed McCoy.
Evin Lewis is becoming something of a World Cup specialist, with the opening batter earning a recall to the West Indies team for the first time since the 2021 T20 World Cup.
Alongside Lewis, the West Indies will be taking three other specialist batsmen to the T20 World Cup in October, as follows:
With three of the West Indies specialist batsmen all having 50 T20I caps, there is a good level of experience building in this side. Rovman Powell, Shimron Hetmyer and Evin Lewis all have been around the West Indies squad for over five years now, and are the next generation of leaders, while Brandon King is still relatively fresh and moving up the ranks.
Lewis has been selected for his explosive left-handed hitting at the top of the order, and will be key in getting the West Indies off to fast starts. With a strike rate of 155.52 across his 1423 T20I runs, Lewis has ten 50+ scores, and is a real asset to any side when firing. That’s exactly what the West Indies will want him to do upon his recall to the national team.
Hetymer and Powell also have the ability to score quickly with 150+ strike rates in the IPL. However, expect these two to play more of an anchoring role, with their national level strike rates in the 120-130 range. Cool heads and experience are something that never goes a miss in T20I cricket. Rounding out the specialist batting, Brandon King is not exactly a newbie on 28 T20Is and 630 runs, but he is the least experienced of the batters. Chances are he’ll be called on to act as a hitter when required.
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With excellent all-rounders such as Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard either retiring or being unavailable for selection, the West Indies are looking to rebuild their all-rounder stocks.
However, in true West Indies style, all-round talent abounds, with three bowling all-rounders and one batting all-rounder selected for the trip to Australia:
Jason Holder will be a critical player for the West Indies at this World Cup, with the 30-year-old bringing the experience of 44 T20Is, as well as 131 ODIs and 56 Tests to the side. While he’s only scored 314 T20I runs for his nation, his 2000+ ODI and Test runs speak to his batting ability. However, it is with the ball Holder will be asked to contribute the most, having taken 340 wickets for the West Indies across all formats, with 45 in 41 matches at the T20I level.
Holder is joined by Kyle Mayers who has 329 T20I runs and the ability to squeeze out a few overs with the ball as well. The big left-hander will be looking for a big score at the 2022 T20 World Cup, with his highest in T20Is so far 73 runs.
Two debutants round out the all-rounder options for the West Indies, with Yannic Cariah and Raymon Reifer selected. Both men will struggle to secure a place in the starting line-up, however, will likely get a shot in at least one match to prove themselves. Cariah has played two ODIs for the West Indies, taking three wickets and scoring a half-century, while Reifer has a high score of 87 in Tests, and has previously taken five ODI wickets.
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In a surprise twist, the West Indies have rewound the clock half a decade for their wicketkeeping selections.
The standard two wicketkeeping options have been selected by the West Indies for this year’s T20I World Cup:
The last time that Johnson Charles represented the West Indies at a national level was in 2016. The 33-year-old wicketkeeper batsman has played 34 T20Is and 48 ODIs for his country, accumulating 2000 runs across the formats. His inclusion is a nod to the West Indies’ desire to mix experience into their young squad, however, he’s unlikely to get much game time, competing against captain Nicholas Pooran for a spot in the playing 11.
Pooran is arguably the West Indies’ best batter right now, and with 67 T20Is to his name, the 26-year-old will be another pivotal player at the World Cup. He possesses a healthy strike rate of 130.87 across his 1399 T20I runs, with the ability to take his hitting up a gear when required, as his IPL strike rate of 151.24 testifies. Expect a big shift from the captain if the West Indies are going to make a deep run in this tournament.
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In typical West Indies’ fashion, a potent bowling line up has been announced for their trip to Australia in October.
Five specialist bowlers have been selected for the 2022 T20 World Cup in the West Indies squad:
Left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell leads the charge for the West Indies as their most experienced T20I bowler. With top figures of 4/28 and 48 wickets across 41 matches, Cottrell is a genuine wicket-taking option that will open the bowling. However, the real wicket-takers in this bowling line up are Alzarri Joseph and Obed McCoy. Joseph has 87 wickets from 54 ODIs, and while he is yet to strike such numbers in his first five T20Is, is always a danger. McCoy on the other hand, has 35 wickets from his 23 T20Is, with top figures of 6/17 and the ability to rip through any opposition on his day.
These wicket-taking options are supported by Akeal Hosein and Odean Smith. Hosein is coming off a strong season so far that has seen the left-hander put the squeeze on opposition, seen when he was called into the playing 11 in the recent series against New Zealand. Smith is an experienced option for the West Indies to draw on with 19 T20Is under his belt, but an economy rate of 10.2 will be of some concern to the selectors.