Andre Russell and Sunil Narine © Getty Images
Andre Russell and Sunil Narine © Getty Images

West Indies proved why they are the champions in the shortest format, winning the only T20I against England. With a hope to grab the last confirmed spot for 2019 World Cup, West Indies then headed into the five-ODI series against England. However, Jonny Bairstow’s maiden ODI century dashed their hopes, as West Indies ended up on the doorstep of defeat. This mean that their loss was Sri Lanka’s gain.

West Indies now will have to play the World Cup qualifiers. Coach Stuart Law has challenged West Indies to use the remainder of the ODI series to prove why they should be part of the World Cup. West Indies will play against the bottom-ranked sides such as Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Ireland next year.

Before that, West Indies have the England and the New Zealand series to prove their stance in ODIs. “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. It’s a balancing act because what some players bring is extraordinary and you don’t want to nullify that effect. We’ve still got some selectorial conversations to have, to understand if we have the best players to take this team forward,” Law told ESPNcricinfo.

“There’s plenty of A-team cricket in the Caribbean – Sri Lanka are there and England are coming next year so there are opportunities – but I’d like to go to New Zealand with a team which is pretty settled before the qualifiers,” Law added.

West Indies already have the likes of Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels in their ranks. However, they would also draft Sunil Narine, who would certainly find a spot if he made himself available. Andre Russell is already completing his one-year ban.

“Most people would be excited to have a guy like Andre Russell champing at the bit to play international cricket. 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,” Law said backing the missing players.