IND vs. WI: Windies’ last realistic chance for direct World Cup qualification

West Indies’ upcoming ODI series against India isn’t going to be an easy one for them at all. But a series win is a must if they need to secure automatic qualification for the 2019 ICC World Cup.

india vs west indies 2017 Updated: Jun 21, 2017 20:20 IST
Sidharth Gulati
Sidharth Gulati
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India vs West Indies,India national cricket team,West Indies cricket team
Jason Holder and co. will have to be at their best form to even stand a chance of beating India. (AFP)

It’s hard to believe that the West Indies - the 1975 and 1979 World Champions and the formidable force in global cricket throughout the 1980s - are behind the likes of Bangladesh and Afghanistan in terms of form and rankings at the moment.

In what can be termed as the lowest point in their cricketing history, West Indies didn’t feature in the Champions Trophy 2017 as they weren’t among the top eight teams in ICC rankings on September 30, 2015 - the cut-off date for qualification.

Currently ranked ninth, Jason Holder’s side are afraid of failing to qualify for the 2019 World Cup too and the upcoming series against India could be their last chance to seal direct qualification.

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The last time they won an ODI series against a full-member nation was way back in 2012 (vs New Zealand). The preceding statement is enough to describe the sorry state of the West Indies cricket. With India arriving for a five-match ODI series and a solitary T20, life isn’t about to get any easier for them.

ODI Performance in 2017 -

Played - 9

Won - 2

Lost - 6

No-Result - 1

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X - Factor

Roston Chase:

Roston Chase, who has been impressive in his short Test career, made his ODI debut in the recently concluded series against Afghanistan. Chase – who has smashed 728 runs and three centuries since making his debut last year - will look perform well against Bhuvneshwar Kumar and co. and press his claim for a permanent spot in the limited-overs side.

The all-rounder played his first international game against India only and didn’t take long to show he belonged. His unbeaten 137 helped the Windies register an improbable draw at Sabina Park. Plus, he bowled more overs than anyone else in India’s only innings to finish with the figures of 5/121.

His outstanding efforts with the bat coupled with his useful off-spin bowling will only add value to West Indies’ ODI squad.

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Squad -

Jason Holder (c), Devendra Bishoo, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shai Hope (wk), Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammad, Ashley Nurse, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell, Kesrick Williams

First Published: Jun 21, 2017 20:20 IST