The much-anticipated 2021 World Cup is just a couple of months away from now and all the sides have already started preparing for the same. Going into the event, all eyes will be on the star-studded West Indies side who will be looking to defend their title which they clinched in 2016 in India. Cricket West Indies have announced the provisional squad for the reigning champions, which will be led by Kieron Pollard.
The 15-member squad is as follows: Kieron Pollard (c), Nicholas Pooran (vc), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Roston Chase, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr.
Additionally, four reserves namely Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein will also travel with the squad to UAE.
West Indies' squad for T20 World Cup:
Ravi Rampaul makes a comeback to national side
In one of the most surprising selections, experienced pacer Ravi Rampaul has been named in the 15-member squad courtesy his impressive performances in the ongoing season of CPL 2021. The 36-year-old played his last T20I for national side in 2015 and is coming back to the side after such a long gap.
Reflecting on his selection, selector Roger Harper said, "Ravi Rampaul is a highly experienced bowler who performed well in the last CG Insurance Super50 Cup and the current Hero CPL to date. He will boost the team's wicket-taking options in the power-play and the middle phase and will provide another option for the death overs."
Sunil Narine misses out; Roston Chose selected
One of the other major surprises was the exclusion of mystery spinner Sunil Narine from West Indies' final squad. The board has instead decided to go ahead with a spin bowling all-rounder in form of Roston Chase which has raised a few eyebrows.
"Roston Chase has shown that he is a very capable T20 player. He performed well in the CPL in 2020 and has been outstanding in the 2021 edition so far. He has shown the ability to knit the innings together while still scoring at a fast rate with a low dot-ball percentage. He will be an excellent foil for the explosive players in the team," Roger Harper stated on Chase's selection.
Despite some extremely bold moves, one just cannot deny the fact that it looks an absolutely lethal squad on paper and it won't be easy for any team to challenge this side led by Kieron Pollard. Notably, West Indies have been placed in Group 1 for Super 12 Round, alongside England, Australia, South Africa, Winner Group A (Qualifiers) and Runner-up Group B (Qualifiers)