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5 reasons why Windies have hit the worst patch in their cricketing history

The West Indies team, called as Windies have failed to qualify for the Champions Trophy for the first time in the competition's history after finishing outside top 8 for the first time.

Jonathan Carter of the West Indies
Jonathan Carter of the Windies. (Photo by Bob Thomas/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

The West Indies team, now called as Windies have failed to qualify for the Champions Trophy for the first time in the competition’s history after finishing outside top 8 for the first time. Bangladesh entered the tournament ahead of the 2-time World Cup winning Windies, who in the recent year or two have failed to keep up their status.

The Windies are currently in danger of missing out on a World-Cup spot with Afghanistan gaining the edge with the series win over Ireland and now the 1-1 draw against the Windies. Things are turning ugly in the Carribean, with the team failing to get their hands on the associate nation such as Afghanistan in their backyard.

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The loss against the associate nation was after the loss at the hands of the current Champions Trophy holders Pakistan. The side led by Jason Holder lost against Misbah-ul-Haq and co. in the 3-match Test series, where they failed with the bat on most of the occasions. The loss of the senior players has played its part in the downfall of the team, alongside the late blooming of the talents.

These are the five reasons why the two-time World Cup winners have failed to keep the pace up from the last year:

#1 The loss of experienced players

The Windies side failed to make a smooth transition between the side led by the all-rounder Darren Sammy in the World Cup T20 finals in India last year, to the side led by the lanky all-rounder Jason Holder. The side led by the right-arm quick has no senior players in the squad, with the likes of Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard omitted from the squad for the ODIs.

The situation of transition is inevitable for any team, but the way in which the Windies cricket board have handled this has been dismay. In the past two series against Pakistan and Afghanistan, the side has been led by Jason Holder, with only Marlon Samuels being the experienced batsman in the squad.

#2 The quality of the batting line-up

The sides, which qualified for the 2017 edition of the Champions Trophy had batting line-ups loaded with quality batsmen at the top of the order. Take the case of India, Virat Kohli has led the top order of the Indian team, while Steve Smith and Kane Williamson have led the Australian and the New Zealand team respectively.

For the Windies, it has been the relatively new-comer Shai Hope who bats at the crucial position of No.3. Jason Mohammed and Roston Chase who bat lower down the order are not the safest of bets if your team is chasing a massive total of 300+ on a seaming deck. The openers Evin Lewis and Kieron Powell, are no doubt dangerous, but their numbers do not sound good for a team of good quality.

#3 Home series disappointments

While the likes of Australia and India are looking invincible on their home turf, Windies have failed to make their home a fortress. The past two series against Pakistan and Afghanistan have been a disappointment for the side led by Jason Holder, with the team failing to grab hold of the home advantage.

The bowlers, too, have not been at their best with only Shannon Gabriel coming out in shining colors. The rest of the bowling unit looks more subdued with the captain, himself not being in the best of forms. One of Windies’ most successful bowler in the recent past has been the leggie Devendra Bishoo who has not featured much in the limited overs side.

The team must capitalize on home advantage if they see themselves going into the World Cup 2019, without the difficulty of going through the qualifiers.

#4 Struggle against top sides

Windies faced the test of the English team led by Eoin Morgan and the Pakistani team led by Sarfaraz Ahmed. Apart from the English and the Pakistani team, the Afghan team too made their visit to the Islands, where they drew the ODI series 1-1, showcasing brilliance in the first ODI.

In the eight matches that Windies have played in the year 2016-17, they have won only two matches. The first win came against Pakistan in the first ODI of the three-match series, thanks to the amazing knock from Jason Mohammed. The following two matches went in vain for the home side, as Pakistan went through their defense time and again. England, who toured earlier went home victorious with a 3-0 margin battering and bruising the Windies side.

The fragile batting order combined with the inability of the bowlers to pick up regular wickets were the hallmark of the long Carribean summer for the Windies.

#5 Instability in the team

Unlike the other teams, who built the team around certain players the Windies team did not have a certain order to their line-up, with the top-order looking at heaven at regular intervals. It will take more than a re-shuffle to the top order if the Windies stand a chance to get back to the form that they once were famous for.

The experience of a Lendl Simmons or a Chris Gayle at the top of the order is glaringly visible, with the pairing of Evin Lewis and Kieran Powell, who did not have the experience to withstand the English bowling attack. With the bowling attack too, there have been several changes throughout the summer with the bowlers not being able to pick up wickets at a decent rate.

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