It is the return of Calypso Music. In the 12th edition of IPL which is 24 matches old. The first half of the tournament purely belongs to the West Indies cricketers. Be it Andre Russell (Kolkata Knight Riders) or Kieron Pollard (Mumbai Indians) or Chris Gayle (Kings XI Punjab) or Alzarri Joseph (Mumbai Indians), it is Caribbean cricket at the best. Thanks to the performances of these cricketers, West Indies are no longer dark horses as they have the potential to go the distance in the forthcoming one-day World Cup in England.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan was all excited with lanky fast bowler Joseph’s match-winning record spell of 6 for 12 for Mumbai Indians against Sunrisers Hyderabad. It forced him to say that West Indies are coming back. He tweeted: Alzarri Joseph is absolutely fantastic … The West Indies are coming back … Love it for the World game.’’
Ever since India toppled the mighty Clive Lloyd-led team in Lord’s 1983, West Indies have returned empty-handed in the one-day World Cup although they have twice triumphed in T20 World Cup (once in Sri Lanka and second time in India). Bitter power struggle has been one of the main factors that contributed to the downfall of the world champions. However, the flamboyant West Indies cricketers have always found success in the 12 years of IPL. Players like Gayle, Pollard, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo and, now Russell, have become household names in Indian cricket.
With the World Cup round the corner, these players naturally could warm the hearts of the followers of the West Indies cricket. The Windies’ selectors could be in some sort of a dilemma if they are to pick players like Pollard, Russell and Narine who are not in their scheme of things. But Gayle and Joseph were part of the West Indies team in the one-day home series against England. They stood out with high-class performances, particularly Gayle who returned to his devastating form.
Age is not on their side. But Pollard after his blitzkrieg on Wednesday, when he hammered that 31-ball 83 against Kings XI Punjab at Wankhede Stadium reminded everyone that he may be 31 years. But he could hit the balls out of the stadium. He tweeted: “I’m 31 and still playing. Chris Gayle is 39 and still playing and still hitting them out of the park. For me, it is all about doing my best and making the most of my God-given talent.”
It is indeed God-given talent. This trio of Gayle, Russell and Pollard can destroy any attack in the world with brutality. Their mere presence in the crease could spell danger to any bowling attack and could be game-changers in the World Cup. The trio has already made a big statement in the on-going IPL. Russell is fourth in the list with 257 runs from six matches and a strike rate of 212.39. Known as The Universal Boss, Gayle has 223 runs (strike rate of 158.15). After lying low, Pollard exploded in the last match.
Ironically, Russell, Gayle and Pollard are in the top three of the sixers’ table. Russell has been unstoppable with 25 sixes followed by Gayle (18) and Pollard (17). They have made the art of hitting sixes as Caribbean special. Surely, some exciting times are ahead in the rest of the IPL matches and also in the England World Cup. #KhabarLive