5 West Indies Youngsters to Look out for Against India
A bevy of youngsters will represent West Indies in their upcoming tour of India.
West Indies have been trying to avoid the limbo that comes with an ageing squad. While a lot of the stars of yesteryear are still performing at a high level, there should always be one eye towards the future.
Ahead of the T20 World Cup in 2020, West Indies are trying to see if there are any youngsters ready to break through the ranks. The squad for the tour against India features a mix of experience and youth, but the youth seem to be intent on grabbing headlines.
Here are five youngsters from the West Indies squad that have a lot to prove and should be watched carefully.
(Left-hand batsman, right-arm fast-medium)
Sherfane Rutherford is a part of the new-generation of West Indies players who will look to become household names.
Rutherford has had plenty of success on the T20 leagues across the world, and even played in the IPL last season. His ability to hit big shots is not questioned, but the consistency with which he can do so is still unknown.
The 21-year-old has recorded three fifties in first-class cricket with highest of 93 off 133 balls for Guyana vs Trinidad and Tobago in January 2018 and best bowling figures of 6 for 32 for Guyana vs Windward Islands in November 2017.
The 21-year-old has an average of 5.67 in T20Is from his 3 appearances. He hasn’t even hit double digits in international cricket, with his performance in the series against Afghanistan being extremely underwhelming. His strike rate has been sub-par at 73.9, hitting only a solitary boundary.
He fared better in the IPL, but a high score of 29 in 7 innings isn’t turning heads. Rutherford will be looking to cement himself as a consistent deadly hitter against India this series so that he can get a place in the World T20 squad next year.
Hayden Walsh Jr.
(Left-hand batsman, right-arm legbreak)
Hayden Walsh Jr is only the 9th player to have represented two countries in T20Is. He made his debut in international cricket earlier this year, but he did so for the United States. Now, he is a full-fledged West Indies cricketer and will look to impress against India.
Hayden Walsh, while representing the United States of America in the ICC World Cricket League Division Three in 2018-19, scored 167 (ave 33.40) in five matches, including a fifty. Along with this, he also captured seven wickets at 18.14 runs apiece.
West Indies youngsters haven’t had the best time impressing in international games till now, but Walsh Jr. is a little different.
The leading wicket-taker in the Caribbean Premier League played against Afghanistan in November and took 4 wickets apiece in the three T20I and three ODI games, and got 3 in one ODI game.
Hayden Walsh Jr. can impress with the bat too, but his real skills lie with the ball. While batting, the 27-year-old averages around 15 runs in both T20Is and ODIs.
(Right-handed top order batsman)
While Hayden Walsh Jr. led the CPL in wickets taken, Brandon King led the tournament in runs scored. These performances is what earned them their call-ups, but can the form translate to international cricket?
King's career-best score of 194 was recorded for Jamaica vs Leeward Islands in December 2016 - his first century in first-class cricket. His career-best in Twenty20 is an unbeaten 132 off 72 balls for Guyana Amazon Warriors vs Barbados Tridents in 6 October 2019 – an innings embellished with ten fours and eleven sixes.
King had an average display in his only ODI showing, scoring 39 runs against Afghanistan in November. T20Is have been a different story, with King just managing 17 runs in 3 innings. His 5 run average in T2-Is will be worrying, but the 24-year-old is still coming to grips with representing the national team.
King has been chosen ahead of established run-getters like Andre Russell and will be expected to perform well against India to retain a spot despite all the batting talent that they have.
(Left-handed batsman, left-arm orthodox)
Khary Pierre is already 28 years old and he may not have the same room to grow that others on this list have. He is in a now-or-never situation which he has to make the most of.
Pierre is a bowler and has played in 5 T20Is already, but is yet to play an ODI game. He has bowled 15 overs in international cricket and has managed to pick up two wickets in those deliveries.
He can be expected to play as a lower-order batsman, but hasn’t proved that he has the ability to stretch out a game if required, scoring 11 runs in 3 innings.
Pierre will be making his ODI debut this series, and he will be expected to cause headaches for India’s formidable batting order. Or else, his stint with the national team may be over.
(Right-handed batsman, left-arm orthodox)
Fabian Allen may have the most to prove out of all the players on this list. He has the most experience out of everyone here and has been continuously underwhelming in his performances.
Allen produced his best first-class bowling performance (4/47) against Barbados at Bridgetown in April 2017. His career-best innings and his first century (169 not out) in first-class cricket was registered for Jamaica vs Trinidad and Tobago in November 2017.
In his 12 ODI performances, he has taken the field to bat 10 times and has scored just 89 runs. His average is 12.71, but it’s aided because of his 3 not outs. However, he does have one half-century to his name. He hasn’t impressed with the ball either, taking only 4 wickets.
In T20Is, Allen has been even more disappointing, scoring just 69 runs in his 11 appearances. He batted 9 times and has averaged 9 runs, despite 2 not outs. He’s taken 9 wickets in his T20I career.
Allen got his first cap against India in 2018 and if he wants to solidify his place in the West Indies national team, he needs to ensure that this series doesn’t end up being his last cap through dominant performances.
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