World Cup 2019, Australia vs West Indies: Five WI players to watch out for

West Indies started its World Cup campaign on a winning note against Pakistan and it would be hoping to keep the momentum going against the Australia.

Chris Gayle is the obvious threat to Australia   -  Getty Images

Two World Cup triumphs, in 1975 and 1979, and runner-up in 1983 — the Caribbeans were known for merging cricket with Calypso. The flamboyant approach, however, disappeared in the later years. Amid pay disputes with the board and franchise-cricket distraction, Windies have struggled for a full-strength side in big ticket events. Being pushed to the World Cup qualifier tournament last year perhaps called for a reality check. As Jason Holder and Co. gear up for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in the United Kingdom, they will rely on the combination of youth and experience.

Chris Gayle: The big man from Jamaica has played four World Cups — 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 — and he has been with the side through the tough times; right from the qualifier tournament. Ever since he announced that he will retire after this World Cup, the bat started piling up runs. At 39, Gayle is probably at his best ODI form. He smashed two centuries and two fifties in the home series against England. The Universe Boss, as he is fondly called, will look to conquer as much as he can. In the opener against Pakistan, he played a knock of 50.

Shai Hope scored 101 in West Indies' final warm-up match   -  Getty Images


Shai Hope: When the team needed a character to bolster the middle order, the young man stepped in with a pair of wicketkeeping gloves hanging from his shoulders. In 49 ODIs, he averages 45.56; not bad for somebody who made his debut only three years ago. Fairly confident against spinners, Hope has four hundreds — two against Bangladesh, one against India and another, against Zimbabwe [in his second international ODI]. But the two knocks that announced his arrival were against India — the unbeaten 123 in Visakhapatnam and the 95, in the same series, in Pune. In the opener, he took four catches and scored 11 runs.

READ: Five Aussie players to watch out for

Shimron Hetmyer: Fearless, aggressive and a free-flowing batsman. The left-hander, who came up through the Under-19 ranks, is the next big thing. Still under 1,000 runs, the 22-year-old averages 40.86 and has four centuries in ODI cricket. He is another batsman who has scored heavily against India [in an overseas series] and Bangladesh. The 83-ball 104 not out against England in February ticked his proficiency against seamers as well. In the opener, he played a knock of seven.

Evin Lewis: Coming in place of Darren Bravo, the youngster could strengthen the West Indies batting department. In the previous outing, Bravo failed to open account against Pakistan and here is Lewis's chance to deliver. He has featured in 35 ODIs for West Indies.

Sheldon Cottrell: A late bloomer, Cottrell first turned heads for his salute send-off to batsmen — an act he does to pay his respect to the Jamaican Defence Force. He was a soldier by profession, and now, the left-arm pacer is back in the battlefield; this time, only with the Kookaburras. Being a left-arm fast bowler, he holds the advantage of creating those vicious angles against right-handers. Cottrell also has the delivery that nips back in — perfect in the English conditions. He recently claimed his maiden five-for, against England, in Barbados. Against Pakistan, he scalped one wicket for 18 runs.

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