After the close-run thing against Afghanistan, it is unlikely that the Indian team would even think about taking West Indies lightly. The Caribbean side have fallen apart as the tournament has progressed but there is always enough firepower in this team to surprise any opposition on their day. Nobody knows this better than Indian cricketers who have seen what many of these players can do in the IPL.
The most prominent West Indian performer in the 2019 season of the T20 league – Andre Russell – is out of the tournament with an injury. Other key names such as Sunil Narine and Keiron Pollard are not even in the squad. But there is still Chris Gayle and Shimron Hetmyer. The two batsmen have shown glimpses of their talent but have been unable to produce a big knock.
Even apart from these two, there are some high-quality players who could put India in trouble. Here are the biggest reasons why India should by wary of West Indies and why the Caribbean team is more than capable of defeating them.
Presence of great talent in batting
West Indies have a bad tendency of just falling apart in certain matches. However, they have a batting line-up which is full of highly-talented and capable batsmen. Gayle and Evin Lewis are well-known for their power hitting. Shai Hope has proved his class several times, including against India. Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer are brimming with talent. Captain Jason Holder is a highly efficient batsman and Carlos Brathwaite's abilities are now legendary. With such a batting line-up, the possibility of a big score being posted by the team can never be discounted. If the Windies team do manage a big score batting first, it could spell trouble for India.
Quality in the pace department
West Indian bowling in the World Cup looked very strong early on but has progressively become ordinary. But if there is some bounce in the wicket, their pacers could come into their own. The likes of Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Holder, Oshane Thomas and Kemar Roach are very effective on their day. Batsmen such as Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul won't find the going as easy against them as they did against Pakistan in the case of their being some help for bowlers.
Experience of IPL and playing India
Having played the Indian bowlers in the IPL, the likes of Gayle, Hetmyer and Lewis may not feel as daunted by the challenge of facing Bumrah and co. as some other batsmen. The psychological advantage thus gained would be highly crucial. Apart from that, West Indies also played an ODI series in India last year where batsmen such as Hope and Hetmyer got runs. This prior exposure may come in handy for West Indies.