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Sports Then and Now

Can The West Indies Beat the World Champions?

Posted on December 15, 2015 by Natalie Ige

Cricket-1The calypso kings are venturing down under to contest Australia in the summer of cricket 2015-2016. The battles between the West Indies and Australia over the last century have brought about some of the most exhilarating and exciting matches through the highs and lows of both teams. Some of the most exciting matches have come over the Christmas and New Year period. Australians will be keen for their ‘Summer of Cricket’Boxing Day odds will provide an exciting contest. However, the West Indies are a mixed bag with an amazing field of talent, but tend to be inconsistent across the different forms of the game. They will be facing a ferocious Australian side that beat them in Kingston in June 2015. The West Indian team have been a class act in Twenty20 forms but have struggled with their performance in test matches due to player unavailability and struggles with the West Indian cricket board. If they are to have a chance with toppling the hosts, the team and the board will need to become a cohesive force that commit to winning their first test match in Australia since 2003. This series will only see 2 test matches played with Australia only requiring a draw in one of the matches to retain the Sir Frank Worrell trophy.

Recent form

The West Indies cricket team have recently won their game against Sri Lanka in Colombo. The Twenty-20 victory against Sri Lanka came from their aggressive batting line-up and tight line bowling led by the performance of Dwayne Bravo. Should the West Indies be able to carry on this aggressive form to Australia, the Australian crowds can expect to see some electrifying cricket and a glimpse into the team’s’ brilliance as they were known for during the seventies, eighties and nineties.


However, Australia’s form has been good with a comfortable win over India, although they copped a battering against Pakistan in the Middle East. The West Indies will contest Australia on their home turf where their test record against the tourists over the past 20 years has been nothing but dominant. The revamped West Indian team will need to gain confidence and play their hearts out if they want to have a chance against the hosts.

Key players that are out of sorts threaten the West Indies ability to topple the hosts

Tony Cozier reported onCricinfo that the same players that were beaten by Australia in the one-day internationals in Sri Lanka are being sent to Australia. Chief selector and cricketing great Clive Lloyd faces challenges as many of the top profile players are contracted to domestic leagues outside of the West Indies, making it more difficult for his team to assess the pool of talent. He has gone with a youthful selection with eleven of the 15-man squad under thirty years old. Ten of which are on their first tour of Australia. Predictions are saying that the inexperience of the team may leave the West Indians on the back foot. This was evident when they brought a youthful team to Australia in the 1970s only to be demolished by a strong Australian team. Lloyd had wanted to select more experienced players, however many of the star players are said to have abandoned Test match cricket and will only commit to the limited overs form of the game. With these key players like Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo out of the team, the firepower and experienced is diminished.

Coaching instability

The West Indies have also suffered blows with the instability of their coaching staff. Head coach Phil Simmons was suspended following his criticism over the squad that was picked for the one-day series in Sri Lanka. He has since been reinstated. After successes with England and Sri Lanka, the West Indian coach knows that Australia poses a sterner challenge than England and has openly said that the team needs to improve.

The West Indies will commence their Australian tour on the 10th of December in Hobart. Let’s hope that the West Indian team can step up to the plate and give Australia a contest rather than the competition resulting in a dreadlock holiday experience for its new players.

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