Captain Kieron Pollard believes the just concluded bloc of Twenty20 matches against South Africa, Australia and Pakistan, has been fruitful in providing clarity for selectors on the final squad for the T20 World Cup.
In back-to-back series which bowled off in June, the Caribbean side went down 3-2 in five-match series against the Proteas, thrashed Australia 4-1 before losing 1-0 to Pakistan in a four-match series decimated by rain.
And with West Indies arriving at the October 17 to November 14 tournament in United Arab Emirates and Oman as defending champions, Pollard said valuable knowledge of players gained during the recent series would prove vital.
“I think we have found out exactly what we wanted to find out,” Pollard said.
“It was very, very disappointing for us losing some guys [to injury]. Because of the nature of how compact the games were, guys weren’t able to get through it, even myself missing the entire series against Australia.
“But having said that, as a team, we know exactly what we want to do and how we want to go forward and what is needed.
“And having the opportunity to have these 18 guys here, I thought we saw what we needed and let’s see what happens in the CPL as it comes around the corner in a couple weeks time again.”
Importantly for West Indies, young players came to the fore during the recent matches, with leg-spinner Hayden Walsh finishing with 12 wickets at an average of 11 against Australia and left-arm pacer Obed McCoy grabbing nine scalps at just over 15-½ runs apiece against the South Africans.
And Pollard was quick to praise both players, pointing to their high levels of commitment to training and performance.
“I thought these two guys were fantastic. Hayden Walsh has been a work in progress since 2019 when he got the opportunity,” Pollard explained.
“He got dropped and he came back and worked tremendously hard and that was a true testament of hard work, the way he came out when he started to play in the T20 series against Australia.
“Obed McCoy started in Sri Lanka [last year]. He had a few injuries before that but they worked on him and he came back and he showed what he can do.
“So those are the two guys that have been very, very interesting and they’ve done very well for themselves.”
He added: “I thought [all-rounder] Fabian Allen, as well, is a find for us and we need to continue to work with him, and find a way as well to keep them on the park going forward.”
West Indies have been drawn in a difficult Group 1 at the T20 World Cup, alongside the likes of England, Australia and South Africa.
However, Pollard said the focus now would be finding the best combination which would guarantee the Caribbean side’s best chance of success.
“When you go into any tournament it is to win but again, it’s a process we have to go through,” he cautioned.
“With that being said, it is very, very exciting times coming up, a lot of selection quandaries will come up, a lot of persons will have their [squads] but we’re never going to be perfect.
“What we’re going to try to do is pick the best team to put on the maroon and represent us at the World Cup so let’s see what happens then.” (CMC)