Deandra Dottin has yet to reach full fitness but her importance to the West Indies means she’s worth the risk for captain Stafanie Taylor.
More than a year has passed since the star all-rounder last played international cricket, with a right shoulder injury requiring corrective surgery and months of rehabilitation.
Further time is likely to be needed for Dottin to reach the peak of her powers but her talent with both bat and ball remains one of the key weapons in West Indies’ arsenal.
Her 38-ball 100 in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2010 is the first and fastest in the format, while the five for five she took against Bangladesh two years ago are the best figures in the tournament’s history.
“Deandra is very important to our team and with the level she’s at, we’re trying our very best to manage her,” said Taylor, speaking at the captains’ media day at Taronga Zoo, Sydney.
“It’s not going to be an easy one, she’s coming back from a long injury, but with the level she’s at, she’s quite up there in terms of her importance and recovery.
“We’re very pleased with the way that she’s going.
“Deandra’s shoulder is still a bit off but she’s pretty much ready, 98 per cent.”
West Indies already know what it means to be Women’s T20 World Cup champions, ending Australia’s six-year run of dominance with a triumphant display in India in 2016.
Captain Taylor was among the stars of the show in both the final and competition itself, with her 246 runs and eight wickets seeing her named Player of the Tournament.
So if there’s anyone who knows how to captain, bat and bowl a country to a Women’s T20 World Cup title, it’s the 28-year-old.
“We’re really trying to focus on our own game and playing our best cricket,” she added.
“Every time we go out there, we want to play fearless – that’s the brand of cricket we definitely want to play and it worked when we performed in India.
“That’s what we try to instil our players and that’s what we’re looking to achieve in this tournament.”
The ICC World Cup takes place in Australia from 21 February to 8 March.