Two-time World Champions, West Indies will have to qualify the hard way, through Group B, where they will be pitted against Ireland, Scotland and Zimbabwe. And, first for them are Scotland, a team that knows pretty well about upsetting top-sides.
West Indies have begun the tournament on the right foot, registering a 17-run win over UAE in their first warm-up fixture. However, their second warm-up was washed out, leaving the Windies with little to no game preparation ahead of their first clash.
Ground Details and Team Combination
After two pulsating fixtures at the Simonds Stadium in Geelong, we are at the second venue for this tournament – Bellerive Oval – here in Hobart. Only three T20Is have been played at the venue, all involving the hosts – Australia – who have a 100% win record. More importantly, two out of the three wins have been while defending, making this one of those venues, where batting first makes sense.
Since the last game was in February 2018, we might have to reflect on the data from T20s. In T20s since 2021, the average first innings score is 172, with only one team having won chasing a total. Six out of the seven wins since 2021 have been by teams batting first, which suggests the right way.
70 wickets at the venue have been picked by pacers since 2021, averaging 5 wickets/innings, which accounts to 76.9% of the wickets. Spinners aren’t quite effective here in Hobart, averaging 41.1 with the ball.
While you could go for the above team, you can also choose your team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Then, based on your preferences, the platform will guide you through creating the ideal fantasy XI.
For small leagues: Jason Holder (c), Chris Greaves (vc)
For grand leagues: Kyle Mayers (c), Mark Watt (vc)
Stats that matter
- Amongst the top 10 sides post last year’s T20WC, Windies have the fourth-lowest strike-rate in the middle-over phase (7-15), where they strike only at 118.4, with a BPB of 8.3.
- On top of that, skipper Nicholas Pooran’s touch-and-go form too will be a concern. His last seven scores in T20Is have been 2, 2, 1, 15, 0, 0 and 15 and isn’t that concerning?
- Chris Greaves is Scotland’s leading run-scorer in the year, with 68 runs @34 and a strike-rate of 133.3, with a high-score of 37.
- Jason Holder is West Indies’ leading wicket-taker this year, with 23 wickets, and on Australian conditions where there will be bounce, the all-rounder will be an integral part of the Windies setup.
- Since December 2021, West Indies also have the second-worst bowling numbers at the death (10.7 RPO), which only will get them eliminated, only behind South Africa. Windies bowling unit has also conceded the second-most sixes (64) during that phase.
Grand League punts
- Since the start of the year, Kyle Mayers has scored 349 runs for the Windies, with a strike-rate of 130, including registering a high-score of 73. To go with that, Mayers’ bowling too will come in handy during the tournament, given the purchase the seamers have got until now. Mayers’ averages 19.4 in the powerplay during the last season of CPL, making him one of the biggest threats.
- You remember Mark Watt, right? The left-arm spinner from Scotland, who made the headlines during last year’s T20 World Cup in the Middle East. Watt is a tricky customer, with his ability to both dart the ball and get sharp turn, coming from his bowling action. On surfaces where there is expected to be extra bounce, the left-arm spinner might be vital.
Here are the Top 10 Criclytics Projections
Windies XI: Kyle Mayers, Brandon King, Evin Lewis, Shamarh Brooks, Nicholas Pooran (c & wk), Rovman Powell, Jason Holder, Odean Smith, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Obed McCoy
Scotland XI: George Munsey, Michael Jones, Callum McLeod, Richie Berrington (c), Matthew Cross (wk), Chris Greaves, Michael Leask, Mark Watt, Brad Wheal, Safyaan Sharif, Josh Davey