Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

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Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by kingraf on Wed 21 Jan 2015, 6:16 pm

For the last two or so months there's been a cricket show on the local networks (not sure at all if its been picked up) in which Jonty Rhodes (who btw has the charisma of sickle cell anaemia) has a chat to all time greats in idyllic conditions. Anyway, at the end of the show, Jonty asks the guest a rather straightforward question, "who are your favourites to make the final four/ who are the four favourites". And with the odd exception, they've all tended to say the West Indies are either part of the four, or darkhorses. Now I generally don't go with these opinions, but so many guys I suspect to have much greater cricket IQ than me have gone and put the West indies as a possible winners (please note the show was likely recorded before things went to hell in West Indian cricket, or at least large swathes of it).

Even accounting for Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo and adding them into the team... how on earth could anyone think this mess could win a world cup? Their opening bat averages 19, they don't have a reliable opening bowling partnership, their middle order (Sammy, Bravo, Russell, Pollard) average about 100 between them, while the fourth and fifth seamer roles go at a run a ball. What am I missing in this squad? They have/had two maybe three quality operators in 50-overs. Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, maybe Benn. They really aren't very good.
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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by freemo on Wed 21 Jan 2015, 7:06 pm

Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?...



no

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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by freemo on Wed 21 Jan 2015, 7:06 pm

Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?...



no

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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by VTR on Wed 21 Jan 2015, 7:50 pm

They are more sickly donkeys than dark horses.

I can only think that these experts believe Chris Gayle will somehow single handedly take them to victory

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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by ShankyCricket on Wed 21 Jan 2015, 8:39 pm

The same Gayle who has ONE 50+ score in ODIs against a top 8 nation over the past TWO AND A HALF YEARS?

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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by VTR on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 8:30 am

ShankyCricket wrote:The same Gayle who has ONE 50+ score in ODIs against a top 8 nation over the past TWO AND A HALF YEARS?

Yep that would be him. They probably heard about a couple of decent IPL innings he played and figured he has been tearing ODI attacks up as well without bothering to check the facts!

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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by Stella on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 9:17 am

England are the dark horses.

We have power, and grace up top, mixed with power and nurdlers in the middle/lower order. Add a good 4 man seam attack, and you have potential winners.
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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by Pal Joey on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 9:29 am

Yeah, England are the dark horses, and NZ could be the Boulters. Smile
Pakistan shouldn't be ignored either.

I can't see the Windies turning their very recent form around but they might perform a bit better in a couple of their group matches.
Would have more of a chance with Pollard and Bravo in their side though.

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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by Stella on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 9:43 am

New Zealand have been labelled the dark horses for years, but they should be seen as one of the favourites.
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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by KP_fan on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 9:49 am

kingraf wrote:Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

If you call black guys black or even dark.......in the world that we live in you are being racist Very Happy
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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by VTR on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 10:32 am

Stella wrote:New Zealand have been labelled the dark horses for years, but they should be seen as one of the favourites.

Agree - just because they are a small nation they never seem to be labelled as a favourite. That's crazy if they are playing well

I think the order of things is the favourites are Aus, SA and NZ - you would expect one of those three to win the whole thing

Then the next tier are Eng, SL, Pak, Ind - outsiders but not a huge surprise if one makes the final or even wins it

All other teams somewhere below that, with WI being best of the rest

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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by Mike Selig on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 11:00 am

I would have India higher than that VTR. I know they're not at their best on bouncy pitches, but the pitches will probably get less bouncy and more tired, and the format means they are likely to at least make the quarter finals. I would still fancy them more than England.

I can't see Pakistan's batting not collapsing, so they're a long shot for the title IMO, but they may surprise a team or two agreed.

Also agree that New-Zealand are one of the favourites. They have really come on under the Hesson-McCullum duo (some people have really had to eat their words) and I think they would be disappointed if they didn't make the semi-finals.

As for the West Indies... nah, can't see it. Too much disarray, no unity. I guess Gayle could come off for the first time in ages, on that basis perhaps people are putting more emphasis on what he can do (rather than what he's done in the recent past at least). I also think there's some (IMO misplaced) nostalgia where the West Indies are concerned, so even cricket commentators may not be being entirely rational on this.

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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by VTR on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 11:24 am

Yes, I would have India at the top of the second category - I didn't put either category in any order. For the second group I would go with Ind, SL, Eng, Pak in that order.

India seem to have been written off in some quarters after one bad day at the office, but as you say the format should allow them to make the quarters and that batting is easily good enough to win the two or three one-off games to make the final or win it.

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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by Stella on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 11:28 am

Is their batting that good? Kohli is a world class player, and in Dhoni they have a finisher supreme. Rohit is a fine player, and as seen can get big scores, yet fails more than he succeeds. I don't see much depth.
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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by dummy_half on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 11:33 am

Stella wrote:Is their batting that good? Kohli is a world class player, and in Dhoni they have a finisher supreme. Rohit is a fine player, and as seen can get big scores, yet fails more than he succeeds. I don't see much depth.

I think India are in some ways similar to England, although more reliant on the performance of a few big names - the batting will come off on occasion and give them a big score (350+) that their bowlers can defend. For both teams, a genuinely successful WC depends on this happening in the right games rather than against the minnows.

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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by Stella on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 11:38 am

dummy_half wrote:
Stella wrote:Is their batting that good? Kohli is a world class player, and in Dhoni they have a finisher supreme. Rohit is a fine player, and as seen can get big scores, yet fails more than he succeeds. I don't see much depth.

I think India are in some ways similar to England, although more reliant on the performance of a few big names - the batting will come off on occasion and give them a big score (350+) that their bowlers can defend. For both teams, a genuinely successful WC depends on this happening in the right games rather than against the minnows.

I'd say our bowling attack is better than theirs, also. Have we got the bottle to play to our ability, which hasn't been the case in the past?
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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by kingraf on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 11:45 am

Thing is its not about winning two or three knockout matches. It's about winning two or three knockout matches on the bounce. The fact that it's consecutive makes it less of a lottery, and means you need a better rounded approach. I don't think any team can have three consecutive superlative batting performances, at some stage the bowlers have to win you a game, or at least defend a 50/50 total.
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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by Stella on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 12:46 pm

kingraf wrote:Thing is its not about winning two or three knockout matches. It's about winning two or three knockout matches on the bounce. The fact that it's consecutive makes it less of a lottery, and means you need a better rounded approach. I don't think any team can have three consecutive superlative batting performances, at some stage the bowlers have to win you a game, or at least defend a 50/50 total.

I think that's where India will be let down, the bowling.
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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by dummy_half on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 2:48 pm

Stella wrote:
kingraf wrote:Thing is its not about winning two or three knockout matches. It's about winning two or three knockout matches on the bounce. The fact that it's consecutive makes it less of a lottery, and means you need a better rounded approach. I don't think any team can have three consecutive superlative batting performances, at some stage the bowlers have to win you a game, or at least defend a 50/50 total.

I think that's where India will be let down, the bowling.
And England are likely to be let down by the batting at some point - There is the capability to score fast, but also to lose wickets quickly, and other than Root I don't see anyone in the middle order who really has the bottle and technique combined to dig in and turn an innings around on a consistent basis.

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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by Stella on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 2:59 pm

dummy_half wrote:
Stella wrote:
kingraf wrote:Thing is its not about winning two or three knockout matches. It's about winning two or three knockout matches on the bounce. The fact that it's consecutive makes it less of a lottery, and means you need a better rounded approach. I don't think any team can have three consecutive superlative batting performances, at some stage the bowlers have to win you a game, or at least defend a 50/50 total.

I think that's where India will be let down, the bowling.
And England are likely to be let down by the batting at some point - There is the capability to score fast, but also to lose wickets quickly, and other than Root I don't see anyone in the middle order who really has the bottle and technique combined to dig in and turn an innings around on a consistent basis.

Whilst our batting line up is inconsistent, as in only two-three players ever seem to score runs at one time, I quite like the look of England's batting. Three of the top four are well capable of a long innings, you then have Morgan and Buttler lower down, who can up the tempo.

On the other hand, India's bowling looks weak, when compared to England's Australia's etc.
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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by JDizzle on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 3:21 pm

England just have to pray that they are able to bat second as many times as possible, as their batting looks a lot worse when they are asked to set a total. For that reason, I can't see them going all the way. Could definitely be a banana skin for someone in the QFs though.

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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by dummy_half on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 4:30 pm

Stella

I think our batting looks about as good as possible under the circumstances, but we are simply short of a top quality experienced player to be the focal point - Root may grow into that but he's only about 12, while the others I think are a notch or two down in terms of consistent quality as ODI performers when compared with the likes of Kohli, ABdV etc.

We don't play enough ODIs to have the same level of experience as the Sub-Continental teams, and also don't get the opportunity to play many ODIs in the relatively fast and bouncy conditions likely to prevail in Aus, so are really relying on a couple of batsmen finding good if perhaps unexpected form. Add to this that the line-up is only now starting to come together after the over-long persistence with Cook at the top of the order, and we are some way behind in development.

Bowling, with Jimmy A, Broad and Finn spearheading the attack, will be as good as most sides (bar Aus and SA), so the big question is about the consistency of the batting.

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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by Stella on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 4:35 pm

Yes, consistency is the key. I'm confident we can get teams out cheaply, though we're bound to let a tail wag at some point.

England do look to have some boxes ticked.
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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by kingraf on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 4:55 pm

From our perspective, I feel confident. Ntini and Pollock are probably significantly better opening bowlers in ODI than Steyn and Philander, or Morkel and Philander, but Steyn is match winner, and can make the older ball snake like no one else which will prove key on Aussie pitches towards the end. I'm not sold on Philander, as either a bowler, or even an all rounder in the ODI format. Tsotsobe is vastly better than him, but like KP he's a bit of a diva without the recent form to get selected, and unlike KP, he doesn't have the cult of personality to have the people rebel for him. In Imran Tahir, we have one of the best middle over operators in the game. The only problem really is our lack of a fifth bowler (personally I think Kallis coulda been picked merely as a bowler).

As for our batting, very exciting. I think this will be the best top four we've ever had, capable of both setting and chasing mammoth totals. Miller is also a quality finisher, and Duminy is a top middle over batter, and can accelerate.

Our only problems come in "all rounder" role, guys who can bat seven/eight and smash it, and guys who can give your six or seven tidy overs. We're woefully undermanned there, but I'm hoping and praying it doesn't come back to bite us.
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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 5:28 pm

Didn't I read that some S.African hit 100 of 31 balls off the West Indies..

Very dark horses.....

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Re: Are the West Indies the world cup dark horses?

Post by shivfan on Sun 01 Feb 2015, 11:44 am

Anyone who watched our abysmal performances in the ODIs in South Africa won't have us as dark horses....

However, the World Cup draw is so ridiculous that the WIndies are practically assured of a quarter-final spot, and all they need is one lucky, inspired match to get through to the semis, and for the WI, that would be a success.
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