The 50-over format may not be their most preferred but Stafanie Taylor-led West Indies will hope to find their groove early in the tournament and cause a few upsets that could potentially take them close to the semi-finals at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup.
Their path to the World Cup hasn’t been smoothest. With a series whitewash against Sri Lanka and further ODI wins against South Africa and India, West Indies finished seventh in the ICC Women’s Championship. They were in Zimbabwe for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier but when the competition was called off, their world ranking of seventh was strong enough to secure a place.
But having gotten to New Zealand, there is enough talent in the West Indies side to pull off results that could cause a flutter. It will be a question of whether the batting unit can click collectively, led by the three superstar names in Deandra Dottin, Hayley Matthews and captain Taylor.
For West Indies, in the current World Cup cycle, the scoring rate is a clear area of concern. Even speaking ahead of the tournament opener against the hosts, Taylor mentioned the importance of going past 200 regularly. Partnerships, rotating strike and spending time in the middle have been identified as areas to work on by the 2016 T20 champions.
Since Jul 24, 2017 (8 participating teams)
|Team||Mat||Won||Lost||Tied||NR||W/L||Scoring rate||Highest score||Lowest score|
West Indies results since Jan 2021
|WI||won||5 wickets||v PAK||Coolidge||7 Jul 2021|
|WI||won||8 wickets||v PAK||Coolidge||9 Jul 2021|
|WI||won||8 wickets||v PAK||North Sound||12 Jul 2021|
|WI||lost||4 wickets||v PAK||North Sound||15 Jul 2021|
|WI||lost||22 runs||v PAK||Coolidge||18 Jul 2021|
|WI||lost||8 wickets||v SA||Coolidge||7 Sep 2021|
|WI||lost||9 wickets||v SA||Coolidge||10 Sep 2021|
|WI||lost||8 wickets||v SA||Coolidge||13 Sep 2021|
|WI||lost||35 runs||v SA||North Sound||16 Sep 2021|
|WI||tied||-||v SA||North Sound||19 Sep 2021|
|WI||won||45 runs||v PAK||Karachi||8 Nov 2021|
|WI||won||37 runs||v PAK||Karachi||11 Nov 2021|
|WI||won||6 wickets||v PAK||Karachi||14 Nov 2021|
|WI||won||6 wickets||v Ire||Harare||23 Nov 2021|
|WI||canc||-||v SL||Harare||27 Nov 2021|
|WI||n/r||-||v SA||Johannesburg||28 Jan 2022|
|WI||tied||-||v SA||Johannesburg||31 Jan 2022|
|WI||lost||96 runs||v SA||Johannesburg||3 Feb 2022|
|WI||lost||6 wickets||v SA||Johannesburg||6 Feb 2022|
The tournament kicks off on 4 March with hosts New Zealand taking on the West Indies and their captain Stafanie Taylor is looking forward to the challenge.
She had said in the captains’ press conference before the warm-ups: “We’re really excited about that. You probably wouldn’t want to play the hosts in the first game but it’s what it is. I think for us, we have to go out there and play to the best of our abilities. You can see New Zealand doing pretty well, we’ve had a lot of cricket to look at, so hopefully we could get one over them. I think we starting first, you really want to start good, but you have to try and focus on us and nothing else.”
After the West Indies finished sixth at the last World Cup in 2017, Taylor is taking each game as it comes with all eight sides facing off against each other to determine the semi-finalists.
“For us it’s more trying to be consistent as best as we can in 50-over format,” Taylor added.
“We know that It’s not always the best for us and I think we’re making strides. For us, it is more about improving every time and getting better at that. So not to look too far ahead but try to take each game step by step.”
History at the tournament
Best result(s): Runner-up in 2013
The best of West Indies’ six ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup performances to date came in 2013, when they progressed all the way to the final only to be beaten by Australia.
Two players, Stafanie Taylor and Deandra Dottin, were named in the Team of the Tournament – the former has scored more runs and taken more wickets for her country than anyone else in the competition’s history
Stafanie Taylor (captain), Anisa Mohammed, Aaliyah Alleyne, Rashada Williams, Chedean Nation, Shemaine Campbelle, Chinelle Henry, Deandra Dottin, Hayley Matthews, Sheneta Grimond, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Qiana Joseph, Shamilia Connell, Shakera Selman
Travelling Reserves: Kaysia Schultz, Mandy Mangru, Jannillea Glasgow
Players to watch out for
Anisa Mohammed: As Anisa Mohammed prepares for her fifth World Cup, she has plenty of experience to call on having played 18 matches at the game’s showpiece event for the West Indies.
Across those five tournaments, the right arm off-spinner has taken 15 wickets at an average of 33.13 and will pass on her knowledge as she serves as Stafanie Taylor’s vice-captain.
Stafanie Taylor: The true definition of an all-rounder, with the bat Taylor has crunched 688 runs in 21 World Cup innings, the most of any West Indian.
As a bowler, the skipper has taken 22 wickets in World Cups, again the most of the Windies women, and she heads into the tournament sitting in the top ten of the MRF Tyres ICC ODI all-rounder rankings.
Karishma Ramharack: Picked as a reserve for the qualifying tournament, Karishma Ramharack will make her World Cup debut as a full member of the West Indies squad. An economical right-arm off-spinner, Ramharack has made ten appearances in Maroon in one-day internationals.
Across those games, she has taken eight wickets, with best figures of two for 18 against South Africa earlier this year, with the rain stopping her from getting any more.
Ramharack backed that up with another two-wicket haul in the next game and will be hoping to continue the trend when the tournament begins on 4 March with the Windies taking on hosts New Zealand in Tauranga.
- NEW ZEALAND vs WEST INDIES, Fri 04 March 06:30 IST, Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
- WEST INDIES vs ENGLAND, Wed 09 March 03:30 IST, University Oval, Dunedin
- WEST INDIES vs INDIA, Sat 12 March 06:30 IST, Seddon Park, Hamilton
- AUSTRALIA vs WEST INDIES, Tue 15 March 03:30 IST, Basin Reserve, Wellington
- BANGLADESH vs WEST INDIES, Fri 18 March 03:30 IST, Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
- WEST INDIES vs PAKISTAN, Mon 21 March 06:30 IST, Seddon Park, Hamilton
- SOUTH AFRICA vs WEST INDIES, Thu 24 March 03:30 IST, Basin Reserve, Wellington
Excerpts for this article taken from ICC Online Media Zone (Courtesy: ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2020)