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Experience, youth enough to see Windies through qualifiers, says Mohammed

Monday, October 02, 2017

LONDON, England (CMC) — Jason Mohammed believes the return of experienced players combined with the talent of the current young complement, should be enough to see West Indies safely through next year's 10-team World Cup qualifiers.

The Caribbean side failed in their bid for direct qualification for the 2019 showpiece when they lost the opening match of the recent five-match One-Day International series against England — a result that meant they would remain ninth in the International Cricket Council (ICC) ODI rankings by the qualification cut-off date of September 30.

Hosts England, along with the remaining top seven nations, qualified automatically.

“I think [we can qualify],” said Mohammed, the stand-in captain for the final ODI at Southampton which West Indies lost by nine wickets on Friday.

“I think that with the senior guys back and with much of the guys youngsters, hopefully we can get the combination right and play the type of cricket we know that we can play in order to qualify for the World Cup.”

West Indies rarely challenged England in the series, going down 4-0 in a lopsided affair despite the presence of Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels, who returned for the tour after Cricket West Indies shelved their controversial eligibility rule.

The visitors lost the opener at Old Trafford by seven wickets, the third at Bristol by 124 runs, the rain-hit fourth at the Oval by six runs under Duckworth/Lewis, before losing the final game by nine wickets. The second ODI at Nottingham was rained off after just 14 deliveries.

Mohammed conceded the Windies still had much work to do in order to improve their game, with special focus needing to be placed on rotation of strike during their innings.

“In the middle part of the innings there is always a lot of dot balls,” Mohammed pointed out.

“[On Friday] again it was the same thing, so I think it is something that we have to work on and try and rotate the strike a little bit more and in the end, finish off strongly like we have been doing.”

In the World Cup qualifying tournament, the Windies will meet the likes of fellow top flight sides Ireland, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, along with ICC World Cricket League Championship nations like Scotland, Kenya and Hong Kong.