West Indies have struggled with turmoil in the build-up the World Cup. Dwayne Bravo was sacked as ODI captain and left out of the squad along with allrounder Kieron Pollard, and Sunil Narine has withdrawn from the squad. Former India captain Rahul Dravid and former South Africa captain Graeme Smith reflect on West Indies’ prospects in the tournament.
Windies’ difficult build-up
Dravid: I think there’s not a lot of stability in the team. If you look at the team there is a lot of talent, but I don’t know whether they are organised enough.
Smith: They bring a lot of character to the game. When you look at their team having left out high-quality players for behind-the-scenes stuff, it’s disappointing because you lose out on players that people love to watch.
Holder as captain
Dravid: Till six months ago, he would have probably been thinking, “I’d like to be able to play the World Cup as a player.” Till six-eight months ago he would have not even been sure of his place in the squad.
Smith: With everything that’s going on, managing personalities and getting the best out of them is going to be a challenge. So how he gets them to play as a team is going to be unique for him and it’s asking a lot out of a young fast bowler.
Chris Gayle’s importance
Dravid: He’s got the ability, it’s just a question of whether he’s in the right frame of mind and he’s physically fit enough to be able to do that over a long tournament.
Smith: You could come up against him, he could get a hundred and that could beat you. That’s the challenge you face with someone like him. He’s a powerhouse player.
How far the side can go
Dravid: I think they’ll make the quarterfinals and they’ll be a dangerous team. Teams may not necessarily want to play them in the quarterfinals because they’ve got the kind of players who on their day can win you a game.
Smith: I’m going to take a flyer and say they’re not going to go through. I’m going to back one of the minnows to qualify heading in. Just on their day if they don’t wake up, they can easily be beaten.