Carlos Brathwaite
Credits: Cricket World Cup

With the boys from the Caribbean being praised for their exploits in IPL 2019, people suddenly calling West Indies, the dark horses of 2019 CWC seems great.

If one thought about it seriously, then the six-hitting in the IPL is no way related to the world cup.

I mean, what is going on?

Are we really in an age where meritorious performances in the IPL would give players a chance in a world cup?

The players’ form does not depend on the IPL- right?

One’s got to do something more outlandish in terms of rewarding the faith of the selectors as to be picked in the world cup.

On that basis, a question arises.

Has Carlos Brathwaite done enough to be playing the ICC World Cup 2019? Now that he has, since, obviously he’s already in Her Majesty’s Kingdom, let’s look at his recent ODI exploits, the template of the CWC 2019.

The format, pitch, conditions, climate everything differs in the world cup. But only one thing which is crucial is the confidence level of the players playing in IPL.

Carlos Brathwaite
Source: Espincricinfo

Apart from Evin Lewis and Carlos Brathwaite, the West Indies players bagged at least one Man-of-the-match in the recent IPL.

The form of Gayle, Russell, Pooran, Thomas was impressive. It still is. Just the other night, Gayle flexed some muscles and made 36 while it was nice to see Evin Lewis scoring a fifty.

Carlos Brathwaite’s bowling form seemed good as he picked 3 but at what economy? Can you afford an experienced bowler to go over 8.5 an over?

Moreover, West Indies’ problems- that in the front of a tall-order of six hitters may seem too little- cannot be shoved under the carpet.

Hetmyer’s form is a concern. He’s hardly been his usual run-scoring self. Yet, in the final IPL contest, he showed what can do to the bowlers in the World Cup that’s just a few hours away.

In that regard, the West Indies, pumped with Russell’s return and sort of fragile given their lower order composition, have none that could bat very well unlike Stokes, Angelo Mathews or Perera.

To make matters sufficiently clear, their experienced all-rounder- Carlos Brathwaite- is the kind of player whose stats are often bailed out by the imposing frame.

For the past 3 years now, he’s not done anything extraordinary to be considered fruitful for his unit.

“Remember the Name – Carlos Brathwaite”, was the name that Ian Bishop screamed in the final of 2016 T20 WC.

So one wonders, what’s happening?

Without a doubt, he was the guy whose brilliant batting in the ICC World T20 of 2016 gave the world a new West Indies.

We all danced and sang. After all, few teams apart from one’s own country happen to give cricket so much joy.

But what’s Carlos Brathwaite done post-2016 up to this point? How many fifers or three-fors has he taken? How many half centuries has the Bajan plundered?

We know he scored a 50 against England in a losing chase in the run chase of 419. He is staying in the team as a batting all-rounder.

But aren’t his skills slightly inflated?

His ability to bowl quicker ones or his usual medium pacers with biting accuracy apart from the fact that he’s got a fine yorker, some of which even Kane Williamson found a tad bit challenging to counter, find him in a tight spot.

When a spinner bowls, he tries to stay at the crease and play for the turn. But most of the spinners out-foxed Brathwaite by bowling straighter deliveries.

The fast bowlers, it appears, can pick his wicket in a ball or two by bowling a straight forward bouncer. He’s not got a watertight technique to hold on to his own.

He tries to hook may even offer some catching practice to the deep square leg.

He has played 32 ODIs thus far and his average, it doesn’t appear is outstanding being 14.41.

In fact, did you know Ashley Nurse has a better average than him? It’s 19 while Carlos Brathwaite’s compatriot is a specialist offie.

Let’s talk about his bowling. Are you willing to take that much effort? No worries, I have spared you the workload.

Nothing to talk. (I know he took one five-for, but that doesn’t mean he is a handy bowler)

Let’s talk about his T20 exploits.

Carlos Brathwaite
Credits: AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

4 sixes in 4 balls against Stokes in 2016 T20 WC.

4 sixes in 4 balls against Stokes in 2016 T20 WC Final.

4 massive sixes in 4 balls against Stokes in 2016 T20 WC Final.

4 sixes in 4 balls against England’s best all-rounder since Flintoff in 2016 T20 WC Final.

One possibly can’t think of anything else apart from those 4 sixes in 4 balls against Stokes in 2016 T20 WC final that can put forward a case for Carlos Brathwaite in the World Cup.

But then, any player can have an off-day. So how about his IPL performances recently?

When the whole of the Caribbean community wanted to fire his position in the team, the previous board gave him the T20I captaincy. Shocking! It’s like “you are the worst performer of the team, but you get a top rating with an increment. How blessed his life is where perhaps over 90% of the population is running very hard just to perform better for increment.

Now the real question is – Is he better than Pollard to confirm a berth in the World Cup?

Let me tell you that Pollard didn’t do much either.

Carlos Brathwaite
Credit: Circle of Cricket

He wore his maroon jersey in ODIs some 3 years back. He will win you a match or two in a tournament for sure.

But you cannot select a player hoping that he will give you a win in the entire tournament.

Can you?

Pollard bailed out West Indies few times, none can deny. But does he inspire confidence to be made a mainstream player again?

But after that, it’s all T20 tournaments and player disputes.

It’s one-way traffic.

Windies don’t want Pollard.

Pollard is also doesn’t seem much inclined towards the West Indies.

Where it stands correctly, it’s a divorce by mutual consent.

Is Pollard better than Brathwaite?

The answer is yes, slightly better in terms of batting. The forward defense, the flicks on to the legs, the drives and all of that.

But hey, Pollard has his own flaws.

Teams will analyze and pick his wicket very easily. In fact, the Trinidadian would much rather look at being picked as a reserve player in the CWC 2019 as an opportunity to bounce back, an opportunity that won’t come again.

In the latest IPL, he played 2 or 3 good innings but rest of the matches, his major contribution comes majorly from fielding. And the current lot have quite a lot of fielders, including Hope, Hetmyer, Russell.

Returning to Carlos Brathwaite.

The Barbadian has been with the team for the past 3 years. That regular featuring has warranted him a place over Pollard, who seems any day more talented than the famous six-hitter of Eden Gardens.

Who knows West Indies board might bench Dre Russ and gave Brathwaite a chance in the WC. Scary, should not happen even in my dreams. This is the time for Brathwaite to show the world what he is capable of. Let’s hope that he will do justice for his inclusion in the squad. (I can hear your laugh because it’s not going to happen). There is no disrespect to the player. It’s just the frustration from a true fan after that 4 sixes in 4 balls against Stokes in 2016 T20 WC Final.

Rally Round the Windies!!


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