Why are West Indies so bad in ODI cricket?

Kieron Pollard slams pitches as

Cricket News: Why are West Indies so bad in ODI cricket? | Looking at why West Indies are so bad in ODIs after 2-1 home loss to Ireland

The performance of West Indies in ODI cricket is hitting a new low with each passing day, with their most recent embarrassment being a shocking series defeat at home to Ireland. Despite having many dynamic hitters and some really talented bowlers in their lineup, the men in maroon have been mediocre in the 50-over format for quite a while now.

Since the start of 2021, West Indies have lost seven of the 12 ODIs they have played. The recent series loss to Ireland requires serious introspection into their ODI gameplan.

Let’s have a look at the reasons behind this mediocrity and find out how they can improve.

West Indies were bowled out for less than 200 runs in five out of the seven games they have lost since 2021. This clearly indicates that their batting has been their major nemesis in this period. The Windies batters have been poor against spin bowling, which is evident in the numbers below.

Balls faced Runs scored Wickets lost Average Strike rate
679 350 29 12.09 51.54

In most games, they have lost the plot midway in their innings which has led to their disastrous performance with the bat. So, they need to improve their game against spin in the middle overs.

The West Indies side that took the field against Bangladesh in early 2021 was inexperienced consisting of young players. But, the side that lost to Australia and Ireland at home had some big names as far as the batting unit is concerned and thus it was their first-choice batting lineup.

Unfortunately, their senior players have failed to fire big time, which has resulted in some horrendous defeats. The opening duo of Shai Hope and Evin Lewis has more or less done its job, but the middle order comprising of experienced players like Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard and Jason Holder has not delivered.

Here are the stats of the three mentioned players since the beginning of 2021.

  Innings Runs Average Strike rate
Pooran 8 128 21.33 70.32
Pollard 8 210 30 92.10
Holder 8 133 22.16 70

(Performance since 2021)   

If we consider the four games West Indies have lost which these three were a part of, their numbers are nothing short of miserable as indicated in the table below.

  Runs Average Strike rate
Pooran 6 1.5 22.22
Pollard 71 17.75 68.29
Holder 52 13 57.77

(Performance in lost games)

Therefore, it is evident that these three senior players haven’t been at their best since 2021 and they have to step up for the betterment of their team from now onwards.

Apart from the collective batting failure, there have been some questionable selections as well. Jason Mohammed, despite being repeatedly unimpressive, was given a long rope until the recently concluded series against Ireland.

On the other hand, players like Sunil Ambris and Shimron Hetmyer, who have pretty decent numbers in ODIs, haven’t got continuous games to prove themselves. Darren Bravo, who scored a century against Sri Lanka, was dropped right after a poor series against Australia. So, it seems like there is an absence of clarity in the thought process regarding the best possible line up they need to form prior to the ODI World Cup to be played next year. The management should prepare a blue print and act accordingly from now onwards if they want to succeed in the mega event.

These are the probable reasons behind the struggle of a decent team like West Indies in ODIs. If they want to be a competitive enough side, they need to address these issues soon before things get really out of hand.

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