Jason Holder looks set to be named as West Indies’ captain for the forthcoming T20I series against England.
While Carlos Brathwaite is the regular West Indies T20 captain, selectors are minded to ensure the ODI squad spends more time together ahead of the World Cup. This, they feel, will help them fine tune various strategies, including who bowls in power-plays and at the death.
The decision, which would see the entire ODI squad retained for the three-match T20 series against England, is understood to have been agreed by the selectors, Holder and the interim head coach, Richard Pybus, but is still subject to board approval. The team management and selectors are adamant it does not threaten Brathwaite’s long-term future as leader of the T20 side.
While West Indies head to Ireland in May for a tri-series that also involves Bangladesh, there is some doubt as to how beneficial it will prove for their World Cup preparations. Up to eight members of the ODI squad could be unavailable due to a scheduling clash with the IPL, so the tournament may well see opportunities given to young players or those on the fringes of the first-choice squad.
If confirmed, the plan would represent something of a change of policy from the selectors. In November, Courtney Browne, the head selector,
suggested every T20I series from then would be used as preparation for the T20 World Cup in Australia in late 2020.
“With the T20 World Cup two years away, the process of rebuilding a squad to be a competitive unit for the tournament is critical at this stage,” he said at the time.
Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard, Obed McCoy and, perhaps, Sunil Narine (who said he wasn’t ready to be considered for selection for the ODI squad as he continues to work on his remodelled bowling action) could be among those who miss out as a result of the decision.
With the likes of Andre Russell, Darren Bravo and Chris Gayle now back in contention in both limited-overs formats, however, there is a fair
amount of crossover between the squads. There is also a growing belief from most involved that West Indies could surprise a few at the World Cup.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.