Cricket

England vs West Indies: Visitors' coach Stuart Law looking to build settled team ahead of World Cup qualifiers

  • PTI
  • September 23rd, 2017
  • 15:05:38 IST

Nottingham: West Indies coach Stuart Law is looking to the remainder of the one-day international series against England to help him build a settled team ahead of next year's World Cup qualifying tournament.

File photo of the Windies cricket team. Image courtesy: Twitter/ @westindies

File photo of the Windies cricket team. Image courtesy: Twitter/ @westindies

Defeat in the first ODI at Old Trafford on Tuesday ended West Indies' hopes of gaining direct entry to the 2019 World Cup in Britain.

Instead, the two-time champions will now have to come through a qualifying tournament, set to take place in Zimbabwe early next year, if they are to secure a spot in the business end of the showpiece 50-over event.

West Indies reached the first three World Cup finals, all staged in England, winning the inaugural edition in 1975 and repeating that achievement in 1979 before suffering a shock defeat by India at Lord's in the climax of the 1983 edition.

But this year saw the Caribbean side fail to qualify for the elite Champions Trophy one-day tournament as they were outside the world's top eight 50-over teams.

So it was no surprise when West Indies missed out on an automatic place at the World Cup.

Following a washed-out second ODI at Nottingham's Trent Bridge on Thursday, Law's men only have three more matches in England – starting with Sunday's fixture in Bristol – and a three-match ODI series in New Zealand scheduled before the qualifiers.

"Our plan is to go to Zimbabwe next year with a settled team, a team where everyone knows their roles and what they want to achieve," Law told reporters at Trent Bridge.

"It's a balancing act. I'd like to go to New Zealand with a team which is pretty settled before the qualifiers," the former Australia batsman added.

Chris Gayle, who suffered a hamstring injury while warming-up at Trent Bridge, and fellow senior batsman Marlon Samuels returned for the limited-overs leg of West Indies' tour after missing the preceding 2-1 Test series loss.

Meanwhile, spinner Sunil Narine could come back into the ODI side as well.

Narine was named man-of-the-match in the West Indies' win over England in the lone Twenty20 international of the tour at Chester-le-Street on Saturday, as they repeated their World Twenty20 final win against the same opponents in Kolkata last year.

Narine, however, has said he wants to play domestic one- day cricket before returning at international level – his last ODI was 11 months ago.

"Sunil Narine showed his class in the T20. He stated he wanted to get some 50-over cricket in, which is fair enough, but if he decides he wants to give ODIs a go he'd be one of the first picks with the spin he provides," said Law.

West Indies could also soon be welcoming back Andre Russell, with the big-hitting all-rounder due to complete a one-year ban for missed drugs tests on 31 January, 2018.

"Most people would be excited to have a guy like Andre Russell champing at the bit to play international cricket," Law said.

But Law is aware of the need to steer a path between recalling star names and backing the current squad.

"It's a balancing act because what some players bring is extraordinary and you don't want to nullify that effect," he said.

Law added: "We've still got some selectorial conversations to have, to understand if we have the best players to take this team forward.

"This group I feel has a lot of good, that's why they are here.

Updated Date: September 23, 2017 15:05:38 IST

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