Pooran’s inexperienced Windies have mountain to climb

The former World T20 champions, the tournament’s most successful team, will have to slog through the qualifiers to make the Super 12s.

Shimron Hetmyer’s last-minute exclusion typifies what ails West Indies cricket but the game’s shortest format remains their strong suit and the young side are determined to give a good account of themselves in the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia.

The tournament’s most successful team will have to slog through the qualifiers to make the Super 12s and the build-up could not have been more chaotic for the two-time champions led by Nicholas Pooran.

Vastly experienced duo Andre Russell and Sunil Narine have been left out — Russell due to poor form and Narine because he “was not interested”, chief selector Desmond Haynes said.

The disconnect between the players and the board was evident when Hetmyer was axed after failing to board his flight to Australia, which had been rescheduled at his request.

“We understand that we don’t have as much experience in the room,” Pooran said of his team, who are ranked seventh in the world.

“But we have been playing cricket together for the entire year so we do understand each other a little better now.”

The wicketkeeper-batsman said the camaraderie between the players would make up for what they lacked in experience.

“This entire year we have been through our ups and downs,” he added.

“We’ve been all over the world. We’ve been losing cricket games. We have been winning games and we have been performing as a group. We have stuck together and we’re here today and obviously we’re here to fight again.”

Pooran and former captain Jason Holder have played franchise cricket all over the world and their experience should come in handy.

They will also take heart from the robust form batters Brandon King, Kyle Mayers and Rovman Powell displayed in the Caribbean Premier League.

West Indies begin their Group B campaign against Scotland in Hobart on Monday.

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