New Zealand cricketer Brendon McCullum (L) celebrates the clean bowl of West Indies cricketer Darren Bravo (R) by Nathan McCullum during the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup's Super Eight match between New Zealand and West Indies at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele. AFP Photo/Prakash Singh
Playing a semifinal is like knowing you're on the guest list but still awaiting an invitation to the wedding. If you win, you get to go but if you lose there is no cake, you pack up and go home. Semifinals are the toughest games to lose.
If the men from the Caribbean are to have a chance, they have to be bold in their team selection. There is a tendency to take the conservative approach and stick to the team that has got you this far. However, in these crunch one-off matches you have to do your homework and go with gut feeling. This starts with selection and picking the right team that is best equipped to beat your opposition.
If the West Indians look back at the earlier games, they will see two things --- the Australians, although it wasn't the case against India, were awful at chasing against the Pakistan spinners. The bowling of the West Indies is a weakness but they have to accept that and pick an attack that won't suit their opposition.
The West Indies must play their two spinners — Narine and Badree. They also need to involve Gayle and Samuels with the expectation that they will bowl their four overs. Australia have three left-handers in Warner, Hussey and Wade. It could well be the spin bowling that could decide this match. Secondly, looking backwards, the West Indies will note that their batting has looked threadbare and brittle. There is too much of reliance on Gayle. The writer is a former India coach