The much-vaunted and highly-acclaimed batting unit of the West Indies, with all of their superstars and all of their experience, has flattered to deceive so far at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.
No-one could have predicted or anticipated that type of collapse in the first game against England, to be all out for 55.
Then in the second game against South Africa, they were in a position to get many more runs than the 143 they actually did, so again the batting was an issue.
It’s just a matter of their batters – who are some of the best players in the world – performing at the level they’re capable of.
If you’re a West Indies fan, you have to believe that they can win their three remaining Super 12s games to reach the semi-finals.
The batters have played in so many World Cups and global T20 leagues that they can face the situation quite confidently, put it quickly behind them and move forward.
The momentum that they desperately need, and that they will get once they win a game, could yet be enough to propel them to some sort of Championship charge.
They need that momentum quickly and with Bangladesh as the next challenge on Friday, they need to get the batting sorted – not necessarily in terms of personnel but getting the team educated on the batting plans.
Against South Africa in the last game, Lendl Simmons’s strike-rate as an opener was an issue. He scored just 16 off 35 balls and when he had someone like Evin Lewis with an explosive start at the other end, he needed to go at a much higher strike-rate.
I can kind of understand why Simmons batted in that sort of fashion, given the fact they were bowled out for 55 against England in the first match, and they probably asked him to play a certain role but that was way too slow by any stretch of imagination.
It put a lot of pressure on the guys in the middle order, especially when Evin Lewis departed, but it can’t be blamed solely on Simmons.
With the start that Lewis gave them, scoring 56 off 35 balls, and given the quality of the West Indies batting line-up, everyone else should have done much better. That 143 for eight should have easily been at least 165.
Lewis is pivotal in that West Indies batting line-up because he usually gives them an explosive start.
He has been one of the form batters heading into the tournament, having scored a hundred in the CPL recently and did well in the IPL in the lead-up to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.
He has that form and that reputation of giving a team a good start. What they expect from him is, that once he’s done that, he can give them a bigger score – a much bigger half-century or possibly even a century.
He needs to think much bigger than he is at the moment. Quite often we’ve seen him get off to that sort of start before gifting away his wicket.
They’ll want him to go a lot deeper, especially given the travails of the rest of the batting line-up. It has always been that he was the man to give the West Indies the start they were looking for. He did that against South Africa and much more of that is required moving forward if the West Indies are to win their remaining three games and give themselves a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals.
The West Indies typically play a lot of high-risk cricket from a batting standpoint, based on boundary-hitting, and it has brought them two ICC Men’s T20 World Cup titles.
So, I’m not too sure they’ll change from that style of play – it’s just a matter of the guys executing when the stage is set.
The team need some momentum and they need a victory against Bangladesh because anything else will see them go out of the tournament.