SWOT analysis: West Indies need to look beyond the big guns to go all the way

Rupesh Kumar
26 Feb 2022
SWOT analysis: West Indies need to look beyond the big guns to go all the way

West Indies © Getty Images

The West Indies made their first World Cup appearance in the year 1993, which was the fifth edition of the event and was hosted by England. The tournament saw a total of eight teams, including the West Indies. But they could only manage to win two games out of the seven they played and hence had to settle for the fifth position on the ladder.

The team will be led by Stafanie Taylor, who has been captaining the side since 2015, after she took over the reins from Merissa Aguilleira. The West Indies are placed seventh in the ODI rankings with 86 rating points to their credit, which is a reflection of their poor outings recently. 

Strengths

Ace all rounders

Their biggest strength is the presence of numerous all-rounders in the side who possess the ability to turn the tide on their opponents. From spin bowling all rounders to fast bowling all rounders, there is a lot of versatility in the squad that makes them extremely dangerous. 

Skipper Stafanie Taylor and Deandra Dottin are two of their best all rounders and their stats speak volumes about their potential. The duo has racked up over eight and a half thousand ODI runs and has also bagged 217 scalps. 

In Hayley Matthews, they have a young and exciting all rounder who bats in the middle-order and provides the side with crucial breakthroughs with her right-arm off-breaks. It's still early days in her career as she has only played 61 ODIs, scoring over 1500 runs and claiming 61 wickets. However, she has plenty of big match experience and was the Player of the Match in the 2016 World T20 final. 

Spectacular spin attack

Led by the 33-year old right-arm off-spinner Anisa Mohammed, the West Indies arguably have the best spin attack in the tournament. While Afy Fletcher brings a lot of variety to the attack with her wrist spin, right-arm off-spinner Karishma Ramharack tends to catch the batters off guard by throwing in her fizzing leg-breaks every now and then. The trio will be bolstered by Taylor and Matthews' presence as the duo can give any batting unit a run for their money on a given day with their more than handy off spin.

Familiarity with conditions

11 out of their 15 players have already played in New Zealand and it is something that will be a massive advantage to them. Not all the teams have that luxury. Moreover, the conditions in New Zealand can turn out to be very alien to the players who have not toured the country before and are not easy to adapt to.

Weaknesses

Lack of adaptability

West Indies have numerous power-hitters who can take the attack to the opposition but that's what goes against them at times as well. Their power game is more suited to the T20 format and gives them the edge over the other teams in the same. Except for Taylor, no one else averages more than 40 in ODIs.

There is a dearth of batters in their batting order who can really dig in and play long innings. Apart from Deandra Dottin, Taylor, Matthews, and Shemaine Campbelle, none of the other batters have gone past the three-figure mark in ODIs.

Over-reliance on big names

They have players in their side who are match-winners and have proven their mettle on many occasions but the whole side is over-reliant on those players. And therefore whenever the big guns fail to perform, the whole side crumbles without even putting up a fight as we recently witnessed during their tour of South Africa in the last two matches.

The batting predominantly revolves around Dottin, Taylor, and Matthews. Similarly, in the bowling department, the team relies a lot on the likes of Anisa, Fletcher, and Shakera Selman, a fact that teams have taken advantage of by targeting their fourth and fifth bowler.

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Opportunities

Calypso Supremacy?

Well more than anything else, this World Cup presents them yet another chance to have a shot at glory and bag the elusive silverware. The West Indies have come as close as playing the final (2012-13) in the past but haven't been able to cross the line.

Crowning of the queen

Stafanie Taylor, who led the side to victory in the 2016 ICC World T20, is rated very highly as a leader and will look to immortalise her legacy by bagging the only piece of silverware missing from her trophy cabinet.

Anisa's dream

Anisa Mohammed, the legendary right-arm off-spinner is just seven wickets shy of going past Cathryn Fitzpatrick's tally of 180 wickets, the second most number of wickets in one-day internationals, a record that the 33-year old veteran has been eyeing since she made her debut in 2003.

Threats

Their recent form has not been up to the mark and therefore is one of the major concerns that they have. They have suffered defeats in two of the last three series that they played. Their most recent loss came on their tour of South Africa where they conceded the series 2-1 to the Proteas. Even the game that they won turned out to be a hard-fought struggle for them as it went down to the wire and they eventually trumped the hosts in the super over.



 

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