After the great 1970s and 1980s Era, West Indies just haven’t been able to produce the same level of players or the same quality of cricket since then. They haven’t qualified for the semi-finals of world cups since 1996, which is around 23 years now.

For a country which won the first two world cups and made the finals in the third one, it’s been a huge downfall but, this year they have put together an explosive unit for world cup 2019.

First, let’s talk about the Strengths and Weaknesses of the west indies side and then we will see if they are really in contention for the semi-finals for world cup 2019.

Strengths:
1. Incredible Power hitters:
This west indies side has some serious power hitters in their side. I mean just look at the side on paper and you will go WOW, this looks like a really strong batting line-up.

Starting from Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis to ending with Andre Russell, this looks like a really good batting side. They have also included young players like Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope and Nicolas Pooran in the side to make sure, their middle order is also settled.

2. Good Pace bowling all-rounders:
For English conditions, they have three outstanding fast bowling all-rounders in Jason Holder(their captain), Andre Russell & Carlos Braithwaite.

Russell has been in incredible hitting form but we saw him in the T20Is and we don’t know what we are going to get in the ODIs and same goes with Carlos Braithwaite.

West Indies will hope that Russell has the same impact in world cup 2019 as he had in the IPL 2019!!

Weaknesses:
It’s very simple. On paper also, this looks like a huge hole in the west indies team. Yes, we are talking about the bowling attack of West Indies. Let’s look at the options that they have.

They have Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel and Sheldon Cottrell in the fast bowling scheme of things. They have a young fiery fast bowler in Oshane Thomas in the mix, who has been extremely impressive.

In the spin department, there is not much to talk about. They have only two spin bowling options in Ashley Nurse and Fabian Allen and none of them please me that much.

So, even if they have an explosive batting order, their bowling will be a concern for them. Even if in a match, West Indies score 350+, 8/10 times, they may also go for 350+ runs as a bowling side.

Team’s X-FACTOR?
I don’t think there will be any doubt here for anyone!! It has to Andre Russell. He is West Indies’ X-Factor for sure. If he continues his hard-hitting form in the world cup as well, he could well make the difference between winning and losing.

Interesting Fact: Russell was KKR’s Leading run-scorer and leading wicket-taker in IPL 2019!!

Expected Playing XI for world cup 2019:
1. Chris Gayle
2. Evin Lewis
3. Shai Hope
4. Shimron Hetmyer
5. Nicolas Pooran
6. Andre Russell
7. Jason Holder
8. Ashley Nurse
9. Kemar Roach
10. Oshane Thomas
11. Shannon Gabriel

Bench:
12. Sheldon Cottrell
13. Darren Bravo
14. Carlos Braithwaite
15. Fabian Allen

Fixtures for world cup 2019:
31/05- vs Pakistan @Nottingham
06/06- vs Australia @Nottingham
10/06- vs South Africa @Southampton
14/06- vs England @Southampton
17/06- vs Bangladesh @Taunton
22/06- vs New Zealand @Manchester
27/06- vs India @Manchester
01/07- vs Sri Lanka @Chester-le-Street
04/07- vs Afghanistan @Leeds

Where will West Indies finish in world cup 2019?
West Indies is a side which will beat England by 100 runs in one game and lose to Afghanistan by 100 runs. So, they are surely not world cup title contenders but yes, as I said, they can beat England, probably the best team of world cup 2019.

On their day the West Indies can beat any team in the world cup. So teams shouldn’t take West Indies lightly in the tournament. It’s all in the mindset. If all the players play good cricket as a team together, they will do well!!

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