Gayle is back too and it is always a pleasure to see him play for the West Indies, especially the way he has batted in the T20s against South Africa. I am not sure if he will play the all-rounder role because of his injury and fitness concerns. The team will want to preserve him for his batting skill alone. There are other all-rounders in the squad to fill in.
Dwayne Smith is a very talented player and he now has the opportunity to showcase it on a world stage. He is an explosive batsman, a magnificent fielder and can bowl a few overs. There is also Marlon Samuels who is a class batsman and quite a handful with his spin, and that will also be a bonus for the team.
Lendl Simmons is aggressive and Darren Bravo is stylish, and both are good batsmen who will like the hard, bouncy wickets in Australia and New Zealand. Bravo is returning to the side after a long absence and will be looking forward to show his worth. Dinesh Ramdin is a very experienced player and he is now rid of the captaincy burden. If he can find a good run of form, he will prove to be a very handy player.
I am quite happy with the bowling unit. Along with Holder, there is Jerome Taylor who is returning to the side. He looks fit and hungry, and I am not sure why he was out of reckoning for so long. When Kemar Roach is on song, he is among the quickest bowlers in the world.
I worked with Jonathan Carter and Sheldon Cottrell in the West Indies’ A team set-up. Carter got a century in the domestic T20 event in India and will relish this opportunity to show his true potential. Cottrell is very hard working and gives his everything, and he will like the hard wickets Down Under.
West Indies is placed in group B along with India, Pakistan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ireland and UAE. When you are playing in the ICC Cricket World Cup, no group is easy. You have to be on top of your game while playing even the low-ranking teams.
India and South Africa are always favourites, along with co-host Australia. New Zealand is the dark horse. Pakistan can be dangerous or not, depending on which day it is for the side.
However, there are no certain favourites this time unlike the last couple of editions and this is an open tournament like in 1992.