No team has been more successful than West Indies in the 20-20 World Cup. The men from Caribbean have won the title twice, the only team to do so. The defending champions are one of the top contenders for the 2021 edition but their start to the showpiece event has been a bit shaky given that they have lost both their warm-up games.
Former West Indies spinner Samuel Badree though is optimistic about Kieron Pollard-led team’s chances in the global event. Badree feels that the West Indies are packed with match-winners and each individual posses capabilities to win a game on his own.
“Many people have pegged them as the favourites, and quite rightly so because of the match-winners in that line-up. Any one of their players can single-handedly win a game and the experience of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo to name just a few, with their ability to stay calm under pressure, will count for a lot,” India today quoted Badree.
West Indies will open their campaign against England on 23rd October in Dubai. Speaking about the match, Badree said that West Indies will be more confident heading into the opener owing to a decent record against the ‘Three Lions’. “The West Indies will be confident heading into their opening match of the 20-20 Men’s World Cup 2021 against England, which is a mouth-watering clash. They’re the defending champions and, of course, they won that incredible final against England in 2016. They also beat England in the first match of the Super 10 that year when Chris Gayle scored a brilliant hundred, so when it comes to 20-20 World Cups, the West Indies have had the upper hand,” said Badree.
West Indies defeated England in 2016 final to win their second title. Carlos Brathwaite hit Ben Stokes for four sixes of four balls to pull off a miraculous win. Recalling the victory, Badree said West Indies were not very confident before the final oval. “Honestly, I thought we were done and dusted and we were out. I didn’t think we could get 19 runs, especially given the fact Carlos was facing the first ball of the over and Marlon who was on 85 not out wasn’t able to get on strike,” recalled Badree.
“It was Carlos’s first 20-20 World Cup, so he wasn’t an established player and although we all knew what he was capable of in the Caribbean, I thought a World Cup final might have got the better of him.
“Credit to him, he was able to pull that off but it was only when I saw the first two sixes that I thought we had a chance. When he hit the third one, I knew we’d won and it was an amazing feeling.”