The form and physical condition of members of the West Indies T20 World Cup squad continue to be of concern to former players. And despite criticism of the squad’s makeup in several neighborhoods, including some regional leaders and the Guyana Cricket Board, fast bowling legend Sir Curtly Ambrose still believes the squad is good enough to hold onto the title.
Sir Curtly, however, is concerned about the fitness of some players. “Of course I’m worried,” he told the Mason and Guest cricket radio show in Barbados on Tuesday.
“This is a T20 World Cup tournament, and you want to try to play the best team you can possibly get, and with these little troubles – Andre Russell we know how good he is, Obed McCoy has come in leaps and bounds lately, Fabien Allen, we want to be able to select our best team, so these injuries going around is a cause for concern.
Versatile Russell is currently sidelined from his Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kolkata Knight Riders due to a hamstring injury.
West Indies Cricket CEO Johnny Grave said on Tuesday the player was “evaluated every week” and “we hope he will be fit to play from the start of the World Cup”.
Left arm crimper McCoy is said to have been one of a group of WI players not involved in the IPL who arrived in Dubai on Tuesday to begin final preparations for the tournament which begins in nine days. However, he saw limited action in the recent Caribbean Premier League due to injury.
The situation with veteran batsman Chris Gayle was also cause for concern for Sir Curtly and former fast bowling teammate Kenny Benjamin.
When asked if he thinks Gayle can still deliver for the West Indies, Ambrose said: “He’s 42 years old, his reflexes need to slow down, the eye-hand coordination isn’t the same and he hasn’t. haven’t produced magic for a long time. while.”
But he added: “However, if he does it right, he can still be very destructive… so let’s hope he can produce some magic during this World Cup.”
And while career opener Gayle has beaten at number three for the Windies in the recent T20 series, Ambrose and Benjamin would still prefer to see him at the top of the order.
“Putting him in the middle where they’re going to spread the pitch and they’re going to force him to run one and two, that’s not going to happen. So you either hit him one or two or help with the drinks, ”Benjamin said, adding“ he thinks he has the willpower but I don’t think the body thinks it. “
Neither Ambrose nor Benjamin, however, think Gayle should be an automatic starter. “You have people like (Evin) Lewis and so on. These guys have been pretty decent in the last two games they’ve played in CPL, ”noted Benjamin.
“(Over the past 18 months) He has fought not only for the West Indies but also for other T20 franchises. The few home series that we’ve just played, he hasn’t really had any significant scores, ”added Ambrose.
Despite his concerns, Sir Curtly still considers back-to-back titles possible for Captain Kieron Pollard and his men.
“The West Indies have as many chances as any team in the tournament,” he said. “We have enough good players in the squad to win the World Cup. My concern though, is that we either blow or we (collapse) … so we have to be very consistent to win this World Cup. You can’t have two big games and then two or three bad games. We have to be extremely consistent throughout so that we can win this World Cup. But I think if we play regularly enough we can win the World Cup again. “