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West Indies T20 World Cup Exit: Analyzing what went wrong for WI in this World Cup

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West Indies Cricket team had a shocking exit from the World Cup 2022. The two-time world champions were thrashed by Ireland in their last match. In the qualifiers, they lost to Scotland and Ireland. They were not just beaten but suffered a humiliating defeat in both matches. Although they won against Zimbabwe, they struggled with the bat to put on a huge total on the board. 

The West Indies coach Phil Simmons will resign from his post as the head coach after the test series against Australia. The chief of the West Indies Cricket Board said that they will be doing a “postmortem” of this painful loss and have many things to evaluate before going forward.  The early exit from the world cup might have been surprising for many. But there were too many holes to fill.

West Indies Batting in T20 World Cup 2022

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The Men in maroon were largely let down by the batting department this World Cup. They could not bat long and well enough to post a competitive total on the board. They either attacked too much or went in a shell resulting in their wickets. This muddled approach and lack of clarity caused their downfall. 

Middle Order

In the last 2 years in T20 Internationals, none of Pooran, King, Powell, Lewis, Hetmeyer, Mayers, or Brooks averaged over 30. In the current lineup, only Brandon King averaged over 30 but with a strike rate of 125.51.

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Shimron Hetmeyer did not feature in the squad due to the freakish incident of his missing flight. His exclusion was a big blow for the Windies as he had the experience of finishing the matches. 

Skipper’s poor run

Nicholas Pooran since the India T20 Series:

  • Runs:113
  • Average: 10.27
  • Strike Rate: 111.11
  • Highest: 24(8)
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In the last 7 innings before the World Cup, Pooran scored 38 runs in 7 innings at an average of 5.42. In the recently concluded CPL, Pooran scored 108 runs in 10 matches at 117.39 and an average of 12. Pooran was a vital cog in the batting lineup of the West Indies as he provided the only left-handed option in the middle overs. Nicholas Pooran, the captain of the West Indies, had a dismal tournament in Australia with scores of 5, 7, and 13.

Top 3 Batters

In the last 10 international matches for West Indies, Mayers opened 8 times with Brooks, 4 times along with Pooran batting at number 3 for 4 times. 

Mayers, Brooks, Holder
King, Mayers, Pooran
King, Mayers, Pooran
King, Mayers, Thomas 
Holder, Brooks Thomas
Mayers, Brooks, Pooran
Mayers, Brooks, Pooran
King, Brooks, Thomas
Mayers, Charles, King
Mayers, Charles, King

Top 3 During the World Cup

During the World Cup, the top 3 were totally different than the combinations that they tried previously.

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Mayers, Lewis, King
Mayers, Charles, Lewis
Mayers, Charles, Lewis

The West Indies selectors were not quite sure about whom to open alongside Mayers. Even when they tried Brooks as an opener, they eventually made him bat at number 5 and number 6 in 2 games and dropped him for the final game. Johnson Charles who played as an opener in the CPL had to bat at number 3 away from his usual position.

A solid top 3 lays the foundation for any team so that the finishers can explode during the death overs. The lack of a solid start put a lot of pressure on the middle order.

Lack of experienced finishers

West Indies world cup exit is quite shocking for everyone. The West Indies did not have seasoned finishers like Andre Russell or Kieron Pollard. Rovman Powell and Odean Smith were the designated finishers for the West Indies side. Both are very inexperienced at this level. With the slowish start from the batsmen above them and early wickets meant that they could not freely attack.

The West Indies team over-relied on their finishers to get a competitive total rather than the top 4 batsmen accelerating from the start. Overall, all batters other than Kyle Mayers did not have clarity over their role and the team kept constantly chopping and changing. This created a lot of confusion, and the team could not adapt to the circumstances and making the West Indies exit from World Cup.


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West Indies Bowling in T20 World Cup 2022

The bowling lacked discipline and X-factor. None of the bowlers other than Alzarri Joesph could bowl over 140kph and hit the deck hard. They lacked bowlers who could take consistent wickets and break open the opposition’s batting.

The experiment of Kyle Mayers opening the bowling did not work as he leaked runs without taking any wickets. They did not have a settled opening bowling combination and the skipper constantly kept his bowlers. Alzarri Joseph was the only wicket-taking fast bowler on their side, but he tends to be very expensive. He made them win against Zimbabwe but was expensive in other matches.

Odean Smith was one of the 5 main bowling options for the Windies. He cannot be your main bowler. The right arm medium fast bowler is at the max a one or two overs bowler. He had been handed the responsibility of bowling 4 overs each game.

Lack of quality spinners

Akeal Hossein was the only spinner in the playing eleven. His left-arm finger spin made him economical but can never be used as a wicket-taking option in the middle overs. Yannic Cariah, a 30-year-old wrist spinner was the only other spin option. He impressed everyone in the series before the World Cup. But he did not have the experience and was risky to make him play directly in the world cup. 

Death Bowling woes

West Indies did not have a bowler whom they could bank on during the death overs. Jason Holder was the only bowler in their lineup who could bowl during the last 5 overs. But he cannot consistently deliver at the death and tends to be expensive. Obed McCoy lacked control and Pooran could not rely on him to deliver time and again. 

Odean Smith was the other option during the death overs, but he leaks runs and has the tendency to be expensive. 

Captaincy 

Pooran is a relatively new captain at this level. The pressure of the World Cup is difficult to handle. You have to make quick decisions in the T20 format and always have to adapt to changing situations. He did not open with Alzarri Joesph in any of the matches who was their only wicket-taking option in the powerplay. 

Against Ireland, he bowled Odean Smith ahead of Holder when the game was already slipping away from them. Smith hardly offers any control and bowling him in powerplay is always risky. Holder was the highest wicket-taker for West Indies this year.

Ideally, Holder should have been opening the bowling along with Alzarri Joseph so that the West Indies attack could have looked more threatening and could have saved themselves from getting an exit from this world cup.

Inability to adapt

The ‘Six-or-Nothing’ strategy did not work for West Indies in this World Cup. West Indies ran the fewest ones (195) and twos (26) over five innings of any Super 12 side in the 2021 edition played in the UAE, where boundary widths are noticeably larger. West Indies ran 241 and 249 ones in 2012 and 41 and 27 twos in 2016, respectively. The smaller grounds in India (2016) and Sri Lanka (2012), where even mishits might occasionally go for six, are ideally suited for the West Indies’ six-or-nothing strategy. West Indies hit the most maximums (46) in six matches during the 2016 edition of the tournament in India, which it won.

It had the most sixes in 2012 in Sri Lanka, scoring 49 in seven games. However, in five games in the UAE, Windies only managed 28 sixes. Therefore, West Indies were caught off guard by the large boundaries and their unwillingness to change their strategy.

West Indies’ performance against spin in the 2021 and 2022 World Cups, where hitters had a combined average of 12.77 and run rate of 5.55, was further aggravated by the bigger boundaries. In contrast, West Indies hitters averaged 22.84 and struck out 7.2 runs per over against spinners in both the 2012 and 2016 tournaments.


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