Former Australia captain Steve Waugh has described West Indies as “the most watchable team” in the ICC World Cup and has warned the reigning World champions to be wary of underdogs when they meet on Thursday at Trent Bridge.
Labelling the Caribbean side’s batting as a “behemoth” while praising the attack as having “fast-bowling depth”, Waugh said West Indies carried a massive threat which Australia would not have dealt with in their opening win over Afghanistan last weekend.
“The West Indies will provide a more realistic gauge on how the team are tracking, for they possess a squad full of match winners that can dominate if they gain any sense of ascendency in a match,” said Waugh.
“They are the most watchable team in the tournament with a batting line-up that can kidnap any bowling attack with brute force.
“No ground is big enough when this behemoth of a batting order clicks into overdrive but they also have vulnerability against high-quality bowling as they tend to play one dimensional at times.
“For the first time in a long while they have fast-bowling depth vindicated by Friday’s win against Pakistan without their finest in Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel.”
West Indies smashed 421 off New Zealand in their final official warm-up match against New Zealand last week, in a brazen show of force as they downed the Black Caps by 91 runs in Bristol.
They carried that form into their opening contest against Pakistan, this time displaying the strength of their bowling as they sent the Asian side tumbling for 105 before easily knocking off their target inside 14 overs.
Waugh said with their capabilities, West Indies could upset the form books at the World Cup and win the competition.
“Every side in this tournament will be wary of playing the Windies and I wouldn’t want to face them in a knock-out match,” he pointed out.
“They are the sort of team that, if they get on a roll and build some momentum, then they could win it all like the ICC Men’s World T20 back in 2016.”
However, Waugh pointed to West Indies’ fielding as an area which could be a liability.
“Their Achilles heel however will be their lack of mobility in the field and this is where Australia can influence the outcome,” he noted.
Waugh, who played 325 One-Day Internationals, captained Australia to the capture of the 1999 World Cup title when the tournament was last staged in the United Kingdom.