|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
March 7, 2009
West Indies made it to this World Cup on the back of their fifth-place finish in the previous one. After beating South Africa 2-1 in a one-day series immediately after the 2005 World Cup, West Indies vanished from the face of international cricket. They resurfaced only in 2008 - having to make up the number of matches played before the world tournament in Australia - with a tour of Europe, followed by Sri Lanka.
There was no rustiness in view on the first leg of their Europe trip - West Indies won all their matches against Ireland and Netherlands but lost to England. They also played impressively in Sri Lanka, losing a close series 3-2. But the young squad has not had a lot of time to train together before leaving for Australia.
Add to that, the retirement of their captain Nadine George and West Indies are facing a tougher challenge of qualifying for the 2013 edition. While the top four make it automatically, No. 5 and No. 6 have to play the qualifiers. This will also be West Indies' first trip to Australia and getting used to the conditions may take a while.
Know your competition
Australia: West Indies have played them twice since they began playing ODIs in 1979. The hosts are in top form and have a quality pace attack that the West Indies batsmen won't be used to facing. West Indies lost both their warm-ups - against New South Wales and England.
New Zealand: This team of big-hitters will be difficult to contain and will test West Indies' young bowling line-up.
South Africa: Having beaten them in the previous encounter, West Indies will have the upper hand. But South Africa made a better show in the warm-ups.
Stars of 2009
Seventeen-year old opener Stefanie Taylor is an explosive batsman who made 90 off 49 balls in her Twenty20 debut last year. She has two half-centuries from 10 ODIs and can be expected to give West Indies some solid starts.
Stacy-Ann King was West Indies' top run-getter in Sri Lanka with 124 runs from five Odis, with one half-century. She will play a vital anchoring role in the middle order.
Afy Fletcher can give important breakthroughs to her side with her offspin. She has taken nine wickets in her eight ODIs, with a best of 4 for 22.
Squad: Merissa Aguilleira (capt), Stefanie Taylor, Stacy-Ann King, Danielle Small, Afy Fletcher, Shanel Daley, Deandra Dottin, Geneille Greaves, Cordel Jack, Pamela Lavine, Debbie-Ann Lewis, Anisa Mohammed, Shakera Selman, Charlene Taitt.
Group fixturesMarch 8 - South Africa v West Indies, Newcastle
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge
Plays of the day from the tri-series match between Zimbabwe and South Africa
Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?