Windies depend on seasoned trio to reach pinnacle again

S S Ramaswamy

Mumbai, Feb 14 (PTI) Dogged by poor form and repeatedsquabbles with their cricket board over the last few years,West Indies are striving to rediscover the magic that won theCalypso charmers back-to-back World Cup titles in the 1970s.

Pooled in Group B, along with tournament co-hosts Indiaand Bangladesh, England, South Africa, besides minnows Irelandand Netherlands, the Darren Sammy-led West Indies are a farcry from the all-conquering team of "Super Cat" Clive Lloyd.

Still a passage into the last eight, at the very least,remains within their grasp. However, for this to happen theirtop three batsmen - former skipper Chris Gayle, ShivnarineChanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan - need to fire consistently.

The left-handed Gayle is capable of giving theCaribbeans the flying start. Sarwan and Chanderpaul - withtheir vast experience and ability to play spin well - shouldprovide the solidity in the middle overs for players such asDwayne Bravo and the hard-hitting Kieron Pollard to takeadvantage of.

Gayle, who a few years ago, waded into controversy byshowing his disinterest in playing Test cricket, is cherishingthe dream of taking the Cup back to where it belonged in theinfancy of the championship.

"I''m looking forward to the tournament and the dream isto see the West Indies come out on top," he said during theteam''s open media session after arriving in Colombo. (More)PTI SSR DK PM

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