Saturday, January 30, 2016

Impact of West Indies Opening Batsmen in the WT20 2016, India

West Indies cricket seems to be a pale shadow of what they were in the 1970’s through to 1990’s but in the shortest format of the game they still remain a viable threat and their assortment of strongly built players capable of big hits present a very difficult challenge to any team looking to contain them. They will be especially reliant on their openers who are well versed with the Indian conditions and who will look to set the tone early for the Windies.

Chris Gayle

Christopher Henry Gayle is probably the most destructive batsman of the modern era. He is tall and strongly built and there is no holding back when he hits the ball. He has the ability to hit huge sixes and on the small Indian grounds he will be the biggest threat that any opposition team will face while up against the West Indies team. His familiarity with the Indian grounds and conditions will also keep him in good stead.

Chris has had a stellar run in the IPL, making over 3000 runs in just 80 odd matches. He has murdered every bowling attack in the world and has played in almost every T20 tournament all across the globe. He is vastly experienced campaigner and when on song he is a joy to watch.

Gayle is also a very handy right arm off break bowler though his shoulder injuries allow him to roll his arm over rarely these days. He is a very safe catcher in the slips and a good fielder in the inner circle.

Impact Rating – 9/10

Lendl Simmons

Lendl Simmons might not be as destructive as his opening partner Gayle but he is mighty effective in the shortest format of the game. He first represented the West Indies in the ICC U19 World Cups in 2002 and 2004. Although he has failed to live up to his true potential since then but he was their best batsman in the ICC World Cup 2015.

He has also played for the Mumbai Indians in the IPL since the last two years as an opener and tasted success. He has over 900 runs to his credit in just 21 matches at a Fantastico average of almost 50 and a decent strike rate of 127. Like Gayle his familiarity with the Indian conditions makes him a very important unit of this team. He had a mixed run in the recently concluded BBL where he made 3 ducks but also made some good contributions.

He is also a very good fielder known for his acrobatic catching skills and can also keep wickets if needed.

Impact Rating – 8/10

The West Indian openers are right up there with any other opening combination in world cricket right now as far as T20 cricket is concerned. Having plied their trades in all the T20 leagues across the world, they are a master-class in this format. The 15 man squad also includes Andre Fletcher who can also slot in as an opener if required.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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