Why the West Indians could shine bright under the Zimbabwean sun? 

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The West Indians could shine Bright?

There’s no Sean Williams. A finger fracture has snapped his participation in the series.

At present, Sikandar Raza is playing in Dubai, UAE and has, on this occasion, prioritised T20 league over national duties.

Moreover, Ryan Burl isn’t around as well.

What’s worse for Zimbabwe?

They don’t have the talents of the class and caliber of Graeme Cremer and Hamilton Masakadza in this series, both of whom were around the last time in 2017.

On the other hand, Zimbabwe face a side whose captain (and best batsman), one with 687 Test runs against his name at an average of 62, featured in the ICC Test team of 2022.

It’s a team whose batting order involves Kyle Mayers, who most famously punctured Bangladesh on their home turf in 2021 and thus arrived in cricket’s highest format with an unbeaten 210.

It’s a team that also has an Nkrumah Bonner, known for his stubbornness at the wicket and Roston Chase who most famously fired Test hundreds against India, that happen to have one of the best bowling attacks in the modern conception of the game.

Want more?

In addition to having a younger Chanderpaul in their ranks, the tiger Shiv’s son who scored a fifty on Test debut and that too, in Australia, the present West Indies side have Brian Charles Lara as their mentor.

Gabriel too has just returned to Test match cricket and Roach is already there. Together, the duo about to bowl at Zimbabwe have a tally of 414 wickets at this level.

These are just some of the problems facing an inexperienced, young looking, and perhaps overwhelmingly underwhelming Zimbabwean side that’s locking horns against a powerful looking West Indies.

That told, the only thing that may go in Zimbabwe’s favour is if the West Indies get down to playing a brand of cricket that’s perhaps so true to their DNA.

It’s one that’s marked with sudden shifts in performances usually for the bad that manifest in poor partnerships, inability to bat session after session and wayward bowling spells that are, at times, both- directionless and without a particular plan of action.

So much, therefore, comes to rest on the abilities of Zimbabwean batsmen like Innocent Kaia, who’s not the most experienced man around but one that can play a decent knock. The 30-year-old white ball specialist may just make his Test debut this time around.

Though not all’s lost for the hosts who still very much seem to be on the back foot. Gary Ballance, who had an otherwise promising England career, is finally all set to represent the nation of his birth now that the time has come to perhaps step up and counter what could be a rather hefty West Indian challenge.

With nearly 1500 Test runs against his name and a healthy average of 37, a lot about how Zimbabwe stand up- if at all- to the West Indies will rest on Gary’s Ballance in the middle.

But the series also provides a great new opportunity for the batting quartet of Blackwood, Chase, Da Silva and Bonner, none of whom had a particularly remarkable 2022.

Surely, one can expect the usually resolute and calm headed Kraigg Brathwaite to anchor the inning and lay a strong foundation to the batting. But the West Indies would truly want their batsmen to not leave the lion’s share or run scoring alone on their main man.

Time for others to chip in as well, even Tagenarine Chanderpaul, who truly is an existing prospect; someone with no fewer than 3,000 first class runs to his name.

But also time to anticipate what could well be a cracker of a series and one that the fan doesn’t get to see that often unlike an India versus Australia or an Australia versus England series at cricket’s highest level. Isn’t it?


IPL 2023

Cricket is a game played by 22 but opined by millions.Caught At Point will try to inform you and humour you on the game’s newsmakers, trends and, emerging patterns. Expect those deserving praise to be celebrated and expect tons of ‘arsehattery’ gifted to those who’ve earned it.I’ll cricket sincerely,Dev Tyagi

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