There’s not much the West Indies have been able to do versus Sri Lanka, especially as visitors. During their last two visits to Sri Lanka (for a bilateral series), they failed to register even a single ODI win.
Mr. Kieron Pollard- a point to note? But that said- make no mistake. The same team that lost both T20 and ODI series against arguably the best team at the moment- a couple of months ago- didn’t allow the mighty Indians to whitewash them.
Furthermore, Windies’ critics would want to refresh their memories before overcooking their listless fortunes in the sub-continent.
Pollard’s men won 1 contest each in both formats against Virat’s India. Will Sri Lanka take note of this?
That would mean, their campaign against a force less formidable than a highly-rated Indian side should hopefully offer the visitors something to gloat about this time.
Moreover, the Caribbean talents arrive at the Island paradise at the back of blanking out the Irish (3-0) in the ODIs whilst drawling level with Andy Balbernie’s team in the T20s that followed the 50- over contests, back in the Caribbean.
The Windies, during Pollard’s maiden leadership assignment, against Afghanistan whitewashed Rashid Khan’s side 3-0 in the ODIs last year.
This was prior to competing with the domineering Indian side. Later, even as they lost the T20s to Khan’s unit, they didn’t allow the Afghans to trample their often uncharacteristically fragile T20 side, winning the 1st of the 3 games by a margin of 30 runs.
So the Windies definitely carry some flair and a winning vibe- as evidenced, of lately- by an enterprising turnout in the sub-continent in their recent visits.
Key batting figures are missing
But there are a few glitches.
Where it comes to the visitors during the West Indies tour of Sri Lanka 2020, then the Caribbean force is going to miss Evin Lewis and Hetmyer, both of whom have failed to make it to the side given their failure at clearing fitness tests.
Though it is expected that the two lefties would somehow return for T20. But you never know.
That they’re going to be sorely missed during the ODIs is understood by the fact that both were in fine form, of lately, the former appearing in murderous touch against the Irish – scoring an unbeaten 99 in the First ODI, following it up with a 102 in the final game.
Add to that, Lewis’ fierce batting versus the Afghans in the T20s, where he appeared the sole batsman capable of scoring besides Hope’s much-important fifty in the final contest that his team would go on to lose.
Hetmyer, on the other hand, was in fine touch versus India scoring a fantastic fifty in the Hyderabad T20, following it up with breezy 41 off 24 in the Mumbai T20.
While the former led to a win, the latter proved to be a valiant albeit a typically attacking knock, something you’d wonder would’ve helped Windies against the Lankans.
A lot will rest on Nicholas Pooran ahead
But the others (on this West Indies tour of Sri Lanka 2020)- most noticeably Nicholas Pooran- who scored arguably his finest knock (in a very young career that’s just begun) in the sub-continent, exemplified by his 46-ball-75 at Vizag (vs India) would be raring to go.
After all, it were the Sri Lankans, against whom he notched up his maiden ODI century in true-blue Caribbean fashion combining class and flamboyance in a game where he and Fabian Allen- who makes an international return after 6 months- stitched an unlikely but hair-raising 83-run stand toward the fading moments of the game.
Meanwhile, Allen- who scored a blinder through his 51 off just 32 balls (s.rate 159) would be keen to make most of his debut tour to Dimuth Karunaratne-land i.
The slow left-arm orthodox bowler has just played 12 ODIs with 4 wickets having debuted just a couple of seasons ago and will want to test the batters with his potent spin during the West Indies tour to Sri Lanka 2020.
The bowling power will rest on Joseph’s raw pace and Cottrell’s swingers
His presence will inspire Hayden Walsh Jr., who’s clinched 10 wickets from 8 games at an economy of under 5, his career having begun only in early 2019.
Additionally, the presence of Sheldon Cottrell and Alzarri Joseph- 82 wickets jointly for the white-ball duties should inspire confidence for a side that lacks a fast bowling tearaway, someone like a Roach and Gabriel in red-ball cricket.
That said, there’ll be lots of hope in the West Indies tour of Sri Lanka 2020 to see Shai Hope return to familiar consistent scoring ways, having endured an ordinary run against the Irish.
This, it ought to be reminded, is a batsman who finished third overall (in 2019) for most ODI runs at 1345. Windies would certainly desire their premier ODI campaigner to at least show some glimpses of his grizzly 2019 standards, amplified by 4 hundred and 8 fifties.
At the same time in Pollard- 110 ODIs, 2438 runs, 3 tons- and Holder- 112 ODIs, 133 wickets, 2 fifers- the team will benefit from two solid and dependable forces that possess a wealth of experience.
But nothing could be as confidence-boosting and pleasantly surprising in this West Indies tour of Sri Lanka 2020 than the return of the man all thought was another Lara-in-making: Darren Bravo.
Bravo returns, as will hopefully familiar flair and elegance
The 31-year-old, who didn’t find a place for the Afghanistan, India, and Ireland series, respectively returns to the playing eleven during the West Indies tour of Sri Lanka 2020, having last featured in the ODI vs Bangladesh in the 2019 World Cup.
An elegant batsman who can score freely whilst also grind it out with customary resoluteness, Bravo should definitely offer runs having witnessed a dry run for a side that would desperately want to attack Sri Lankan bowling.
Finally, Roston Chase, who fired a ton in the practice game akin to Bravo, would further want to add useful runs down the order putting to good effect his watchful batting ways.
How does it look for the Lankans?
On the other hand in the West Indies tour of Sri Lanka 2020, the hosts who edged out the West Indies the last the two met in the 2019 World Cup, have had their fair share of struggles in limited-overs cricket, especially in terms of consistency.
It’s a big test for the hosts who just returned from Pakistan where several of their players missed out on the bilateral encounters.
Captain Karunaratne- a prolific Test scorer with 586 ODI runs from 28 ODIs- would be keen to attack the visitors having the likes of two potent all-rounders in Thisara Perera – who makes a return- and Dhananjaya de Silva – 22 ODI wickets and 814 runs, including 4 fifties.
That they have someone like the attacking Avishka Fernando- man of the match in the 2019 World Cup contest for his excellent ton- should lift the confidence of the home side umpteenth. The 21-year-old, scores at a strike rate of 96 in ODIs, and in already nearing 500 ODIs runs, having played just 15 innings.
On top of that, the presence of a champion seasoned campaigner in Angelo Mathews (fresh from a maiden Test double versus Zimbabwe) will give Karunaratne the confidence of a statesman of the game who has not only scored 5800 ODI runs with 3 hundred but has also clinched 115 scalps.
Truthfully speaking, while there’s enough experience in the Lankan squad- a win would do wonders for the side during the West Indies tour of Sri Lanka 2020
The following stats are subject to prior to the commencement of WI vs SL 2020 ODI series. A total of 57 games have been played between the two as on date, Feb 21, 2020, of which West Indies have won 28 while Sri Lanka have won 26.
|Team||Highest total||Matches won||Lowest score||Highest total chased|
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