Chris Gayle averages just © Getty Images
Chris Gayle averages just 18.47 in ODIs since January 2013 © Getty Images

The West Indies top order has recently struggled in One-Day Internationals (ODIs). Their latest collapse against Bangladesh — where they were five down for 34 at one point — was yet another example of this. Since the start of 2013, only Denesh Ramdin averages over 40 in ODIs for them. With the World Cup just six months away, the top order is a major concern for the West Indies think-tank. Sandipan Banerjee does a statistical review of their struggle.

That West Indies somehow managed to avoid a humiliating defeat against Bangladesh in the first ODI at St George’s, Grenada was down to a record-breaking 145-run partnership for the sixth wicket between Denesh Ramdin and Kieron Pollard. They were 34 for five at one point, before Ramdin and Pollard rescued them. But this victory wont hide their top order’s continuous  struggle in ODIs over the last year.

With only Ramdin averaging over 40 (41.42) in ODIs since the start of 2013,the West Indies would be extremely concerned, especially keeping in mind that the World cup is just six months away.

In One-Day cricket, the openers generally tend to average more than the middle-order batsmen. But for West Indies, their main opener Chris Gayle has played 17 matches and scored only 314 runs with an average of 18.47 since January 2013. He is not the only one who is struggling; Pollard, another important player for them, only averages 25.68 with bat in 18 matches during that period.

Darren Bravo is the highest run getter (827) for them, though he played as many as 29 matches. His half-brother — and the current captain of West Indies — Dwayne Bravo has played 30 matches and scored 767 runs. Lendl Simmons and Marlon Samuels­ — two important names of the current West Indies middle-order — also average in the mid-thirties.

So keeping their World cup campaign in mind, the West Indies top order has to find ways to be more consistent in ODIs. Otherwise more “34 for five” situations could haunt them in the future.

Statistics of Top West Indian batsmen since January 2013:

Name:

Matches:

Innings:

Runs:

Average:

Chris Gayle

17

17

314

18.47

Kieron Pollard

18

18

411

25.68

Darren Bravo

29

29

827

31.8

Dwayne Bravo

30

29

767

33.34

Johnson Charles

22

22

717

32.59

Kieran Powell

17

17

616

36.23

Lendl Simmons

17

17

587

34.52

Marlon Samuels

17

17

496

35.42

Complete coverage of Bangladesh tour of West Indies 2014

(Sandipan Banerjee is a reporter at Cricket Country. Cricket has been the biggest passion for him since his childhood. So, when it came to choosing his career, he chose to turn his passion into his profession. Apart from cricket he likes mountain trekking, river rafting and photography. His twitter handle is @im_sandipan)