West Indies celebrating after taking a wicket. ©ICC

The West Indies are the defending champions, as well as the hosts’ for the upcoming edition of the ICC Women’s World Twenty-20. They will be eager to retain the trophy and put on a show for their home crowd. Boasting the first (Stafanie Taylor), second (Hayley Matthews) and fourth (Deandra Dottin) ranked Twenty-20 all-rounders in their squad, West Indies will be a tough team to beat.

 

Strengths:

The West Indies have some of the most destructive batters going around in the women’s game. And no one represents destruction better than Dottin. With her coming in towards the back end of the innings and the likes of Matthews and Taylor coming first, the West Indies line-up will be hard to crack.

They also have a bowling attack to match. With leg-spinner Afy Fletcher and off-spinner Anisa Mohammed in their ranks, West Indies have a a spin attack that can bamboozle the best of the batters.

Their batting abilities and bowling talent, coupled with the fact that West Indies have home advantage will definitely make them a hard team to beat. They already know the conditions, how the pitch plays and if the crowd is there cheering them on, well the other teams better watch out.

 

Key Players:

Captain Taylor will be a key player for the side. Her all-round abilities will be much-needed by her team. She is an experienced campaigner and will need to lead from the front with both bat and ball, and in the field, if her team is to do well.

Dottin is another seasoned player. The big-hitting all-rounder will also be an integral part of the West Indian squad. She holds the record for the fastest Twenty-20 century in the women’s game and will need to put in similar performances to help her team win. Also effective with the ball, Dottin’s bowling is difficult to read and play. She therefore takes crucial wickets to wreak havoc on the opposing batters.

At the top of the order, openers Matthews and Natasha McLean will need to set up a solid foundation for the rest of the innings. McLean is in good touch with the bat. She was recently given the Player-of-the-Series award for being the highest run-scorer in the Twenty-20’s against South Africa. If she continues to play the way she did in that series, West Indies will be set to post and chase daunting totals.

Mohammed is the all-time leading wicket-taker in Twenty-20’s. Her wily bowling has upset the best of the best and she only seems to be getting better. Despite having been playing internationally for over a decade! Her economical bowling and knack for taking wickets will be a valuable asset for her side.

 

Areas of Concern:

West Indies have been guilty of collapsing if Matthews, Taylor and Dottin do not fire. While these players are consistent, they cannot carry the team and they need someone else to step-up. The hosts’ will be pleased that McLean and Shemaine Campbelle did just that in their series against  South Africa, taking control of the innings when those three were dismissed cheaply.

Another area of concern for the West Indies will be that they do not have a go-to pace bowler. While they do have the likes of Dottin, Brittany Cooper and Shamilia Connell in their squad, they do not have a pace bowler who can play a similar role to what, for example Lea Tahuhu plays for New Zealand.

 

Youngsters to Watch Out for:

Sheneta Grimmond is an uncapped youngster who has earned her maiden call-up into the West Indies squad. After an impressive domestic season, the 20-year-old has been called into the national squad. A right-hand batter, who also bowls off-break, Grimmond will be a player to watch out for.

 

Performance over the Last Editions:

Before the last edition of the tournament in 2016, the West Indies had never reached the final of the ICC Women’s World Twenty-20. However, the first time they did reach the final, they took out the title, emerging triumphant in Kolkata.

Will they be able to retain the trophy on home soil?

 

Squad:

Stafanie Taylor (c), Merissa Aguilleira, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Sheneta Grimmond, Chinelle Henry, Kycia Knight, Hayley Matthews, Natasha Mclean, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Shakera Selman

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