The two-time West Indies champions will not be using the services of their celebrated names at the T20 World Cup, but captain Nicholas Pooran believes the presence of star power does not guarantee success in a team sport.
Not many give the West Indies a chance as 12 players who competed in the World Cup 12 months ago are not traveling to Australia for various reasons. The team will be missing the likes of Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Lendl Simmons, all of whom have retired from international cricket. Andre Russell and Sunil Narine are also absent. “I think there should be a balance between experience and younger players. If you look at it, there were a lot of big names when we won those two World Cups, but we also had a lot of big names at last year’s World Cup and we didn’t qualify.
“To answer that question, it matters. I’m not just thinking about the big names, I’m thinking about experienced players and it’s not about specific players, it’s about our team performance. “Obviously Australia won last year and they didn’t have too many big names, but they obviously had a team and that proved that was enough for them to win the World Cup,” Pooran said ahead of their opener against Scotland on Monday.
Most squad members have never played in Australia, making the challenge for the West Indies even more difficult. “Yes, that will be a challenge. But our boys are confident. We have been here for over two weeks now. I think the guys are ready to go and get used to these conditions,” Pooran said. “A lot of these guys have never played in Australia. It will be the first time but the boys are confident, they are happy. The preparation was really good and we can’t wait for our game to start tomorrow.”
Winning the trophy for the third time is something special, said the southpaw. “Obviously for this group here it’s a new group, new faces, a lot of younger players on the team. Of course, if we won this World Cup, that would be our greatest achievement as a single player.
“We’re underdogs in this tournament as we’ve won the tournament twice and a lot of people, a lot of media, you see, a lot of people don’t even think we can qualify. So it will mean a lot to us,” Pooran added.