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Ready to work the magic again

cricket Updated: Sep 15, 2012 02:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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When was the last time you heard experts putting their money on West Indies in any big tournament? Don't fret if you can't recall for it was almost 15 years ago, before they slipped alarmingly.

The giants of the years gone by, however, seem to be waking up from their long slumber, at least as far as T20 is concerned. They have put together a team that has drawn tags like 'dark horses', 'hot favourites' et al from the pundits and fans alike.

"I don't believe in naming favourites but West Indies are surely the dark horses," said Sourav Ganguly a few days back.

And having seen several West Indies players light up the Indian Premier League season after season, it's easy to understand where Ganguly and others are coming from. West Indies have inarguably the most explosive T20 batsman in Chris Gayle, terrific all-rounders in Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Smith, a mystery spinner like Sunil Narine and pacers bowling upwards of 90mph. And we haven't yet mentioned Dwayne Smith, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels and Andre Russell - each capable of turning the game around from any point. No wonder, this side has caught the fancy of one and all.

Even with this abundant talent, how the Windies fare will largely depend on Gayle. If the big left-hander manages to replicate his IPL form and give his side the explosive starts, the side has enough fire power down the order to put it beyond the opposition.

If this side goes on to lift the Cup, it will be great news to not just the West Indies but to world cricket at large. A good showing in the World T20 could prompt a revival of sorts in other formats too and the West Indies of old could well and truly be back, dominating the cricket pitch as it once did so magnificently.