West Indies looking to come out of recent form slump
by Asher Wilson
DateLine: 22nd February 2013
West Indies v Zimbabwe
1st ODI 2013
The West Indies are hosting Zimbabwe for three one-dayers, the first of which is to be played today at St George’s. Chris Gayle and regular captain Darren Sammy have been rested for the first 2 ODI's but should be back for the remainder of the series which includes 2 Test and 2 T20 Internationals. With two of their experienced compatriots out the squad there should be a lot of players looking to step up.
Dwayne Bravo has the added responsibility of captaining the side for the first 2 ODI's. Gayle had asked to be rested for an unknown reason but his replacement in the team will be Johnson Charles. Other changes from the squad which played in Australia are that Devon Thomas is ruled out because of a broken finger sustained while batting so Dinesh Ramdin will come in while Jason Holder has been replaced by an extra spinner in Veerasammy Permaul.
Ramraresh Sarwan could count himself lucky after escaping exclusion and will need a huge series to prove to selectors he still has it or else he could also face the chopping block.
The Windies, a sentimental favourite for most cricket fans, have the upper hand against the African minnows by quite a large margin. The last time they faced each other in ODIs, in 2010, the Caribbean side won four out of five games.
But, the Zimbabweans have had a good start to the tour, winning their warm-up match against a University XI by 76 runs. Vusi Sibanda scored a cracking 147 off 114 balls, and he will be hoping to continue that form against the better bowlers. Off the field, Zimbabwe have been dealing with the fact that their coaches were not able to travel to the Caribbean. Zimbabwe Cricket said the support staff were an unnecessary expense, so the players will be battling through any issues on their own.
The hosts skipper all-rounder Dwayne Bravo will be eager to lead from the front, after fading away with the bat at the tail end of the Australia series. For the tourists, Vusi Sibanda will be the obvious key man because he has been in good form for his domestic side, the Rhinos, apart from his century earlier this week.
West Indies (From):
Dwayne Bravo(c), Johnson Charles(w), Darren Bravo, Narsingh Deonarine, Veerasammy Permaul, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Tino Best, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell
Brendan Taylor(c), Regis Chakabva(w), Tendai Chatara, Craig Ervine, Hamilton Masakadza, Keegan Meth, Natsai Mushangwe, Vusi Sibanda, Malcolm Waller, Chamu Chibhabha, Kyle Jarvis, Tino Mawoyo, Chris Mpofu, Prosper Utseya, Tinotenda Mutombodzi
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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