ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Lead selector Ann Browne-John does not believe West Indies Women will be at a major disadvantage at next month’s IC 50-over World Cup despite not having played in New Zealand in three years.
The Caribbean side are one of eight teams doing battle at the March 4 to April 3 showpiece and will confront cooler temperatures and truer pitches with consistent bounce, generally expected to favour faster bowlers.
Browne-John said she expected the 15-member squad to adapt well as they all possessed the skill-sets required to excel.
“It is true that the team has not been in New Zealand for some time but firstly, we have a technical team who will have knowledge of New Zealand and would’ve played there before and would have knowledge of the pitches etc. so that would have had an impact on the selection [of the squad],” Browne-John said.
“In addition, we came out of series last year against Pakistan and against South Africa and we went to the qualifiers [in Zimbabwe].
“The selectors have had a chance to look extensively at the players so although they have not played in New Zealand [recently], we are looking at the skillsets we have and based on that we were able to do our selection, and we will hope that our skill-set will be suitable for the pitches that they are going to be playing on.”
Selectors have opted for a balanced attack, with the experienced duo of Shamilia Connell and Shakera Selman headlining the seam options, and rookie 22-year-old Cherry-Ann Fraser, Aliyah Alleyne and Deandra Dottin providing support.
Off-spinner Anisa Mohammed, in her fifth World Cup campaign, will spearhead the spin attack, and is expected to form partnerships with frontline leg-spinner Afy Fletcher, and fellow off-spinners Stafanie Taylor and Hayley Matthews.
“Some people would think that it [New Zealand conditions] is ideal for the seamers but when we look at our team, I think we have a great balance of seamers and spin bowlers,” Browne-John explained.
“We have some excellent spin bowlers so on any given day we can expect both the seamers and the spin bowlers to show up and possibly win games for us.
“We’re trying not to depend on just the spinners or just the seamers. I know it is sometimes said that in New Zealand, the pitches are more helpful to the seamers but we think we have a good balance.” (CMC)