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A T20 match between the reigning World Champions of T20 cricket and a hand-picked selection of the best of the rest of the world sounds good, doesn’t it? Add to the fact that the match will be played at the iconic Lord’s stadium while raising money for a good cause and we have something wonderful to look forward to.
The West Indies was battered by devastating Hurricanes not too long back and this T20 match is being organized to raise money for the redevelopment of five cricket stadiums in the Caribbean.
Almost the entire first-choice West Indies team is available for this match and the rest of the world is boasting of some excellent names as well. We are certain that we will see some good cricket, even though it may not be contested as keenly as regular international contests.
The love for West Indian cricket has always been very strong around the world. People remember fondly the days when the men from the Caribbean used to dominate test and ODI cricket like nothing ever seen before. The battery of fast bowlers that the West Indies would unleash on opponents has left an everlasting mark on fans everywhere.
The current West Indies team is not and has not for some time now, a force in the longer formats of the game but the shortest format of the game seems to be tailor-made for them.
The current winners of the World T20, the West Indies have now won two out of the last three World T20 events as well. The national team has done well in the format even as their players continue to be highly in demand from T20 leagues around the world.
Most of the West Indies players in the squad for this match would be familiar to the cricket playing nation around the world. The biggest draw in this team of superstars is the Universe Boss, Chris Gayle. He is easily the best batsman ever in this format of the game and his latest exploits at the IPL show that he still has plenty left in the tank.
Partnering him at the top of the order will be Evin Lewis, another hard-hitting left-hander that can clear the boundaries and can actually outscore Chris Gayle when he gets going.
The West Indies team is spoiled for choice when it comes to batting strength in the T20 format. They are likely to play Marlon Samuels, Andre Russell, Andre Fletcher, Denesh Ramdin, and Rovman Powell in the playing eleven.
Russell and Powell are all-rounders who can bowl their full quota of overs with ease as well.
The bowling is a little inexperienced and could be put under pressure, though. Samuel Badree is a world class bowler and will be expected to lead the attack but the rest of the bowling line-up is not the highest quality.
Kesrick Williams, Ashley Nurse, and maybe Keemo Paul should find places in the playing eleven as well.
The biggest advantage that the West Indies has in this match is that the players are used to turning up together as a team. They also have the motivation to do well in a match specifically organized for the welfare of their community.
Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, ADS Fletcher , MN Samuels, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Keemo Paul, Ashley Nurse, Samuel Badree, KOK Williams.
Picking a World XI to play against a single nation sounds a little unfair in theory. After all, a true World XI should comprise of the best players in the world picked from every single cricket playing nation apart from the opponents.
Unfortunately, this is not how it goes down. Pakistan and England are playing a test series and so most of their top players are going to be unavailable. The other countries have also sent some of their good players while choosing to allow their best players to rest and prepare for upcoming assignments.
The World XI also needs to be representative of as many teams as possible and so some of the better players from strong cricket playing nations are left unrepresented.
Still, it is not all doom and gloom. We have the likes of Eoin Morgan, Shahid Afridi, Rashid Khan, Dinesh Karthik, Luke Ronchi, Thisara Perera, and Tamim Iqbal playing this match. Mohamad Shami and Adil Rashid have also been added to the list of players available for this match as well.
This is a seriously good T20 team that has been put together. All the players are playing T20 cricket around the world and most are regulars for their national sides. As the current trend is showing, the bowling is littered with leg-spinners on all sides.
Rashid Khan, Sandeep Lamichhane, Shahid Afridi, and Adil Rashid are all exciting talents. They will be tough to get away especially for a West Indies side that prefers pace on the ball. Could we possibly see all four leg spinners in action in this match?
Mitchell McClenaghan, Mohammad Shami, and Thisara Perera will share the fast bowling duties in this match. The batting looks a little thin but Morgan, Tamim, Dinesh Karthik, Luke Ronchi, and Tamim Iqbal can provide plenty of entertainment to the crowd.
Dinesh Karthik is the one player that is currently in the middle of an absolute purple patch. He had an outstanding last few matches for India and played brilliantly in the IPL as well. He could be the one to lead the batting assault in this match.
Luke Ronchi, Tamim Iqbal, Sam Billings, Dinesh Karthik, Shoaib Malik, SMSK Afridi, Thisara Perera, Rashid Khan, MJ Mcclenaghan, Sandeep Lamichhane, TS Mills.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
The weather in London can be unpredictable and some rain is almost always around but the forecast for this day is quite bad. Thunderstorms have been predicted for the entire day which means that we could struggle to get in most of the game. Even if the weather does relent, a stop-start day looks in store.
The pitch at Lord’s is flat and good for batting. The match is being played in good spirit to raise funds and so we expect some more half volleys to be bowled as that the batsmen can hit sixes out of the park. A high scoring game is likely if the weather gods allow it.
A team that has played together routinely always has an advantage over superstars collected from a bunch of different countries. We are backing the World Champions in this one.
Back the West Indies to win.