WEST INDIES end their calendar year with a visit to India.There are much easier tasks, as the team from the sub-continent have for some time now been the team to beat across all formats of the game.
And after an underwhelming World Cup campaign, the Windies will start as strong second favourites.
One cricket expert said of West Indies’ summer efforts: “They fought this World Cup campaign like one of history’s greatest commanders, Julius Caesar – only they did it in reverse – they came, they saw and they were conquered.
“Sandwiched between the good bread of victories in their first and final matches, there was quite a bit of mouldy meat in-between.”
The one shining light for the men in maroon has been left arm fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell.
Cottrell, popularly recognised for his army salute when he dismisses a batsman, took a dozen wickets during nine World Cup fixtures.
He was also responsible for one of the catches of the tournament when he spectacularly caught Australian run machine Steve Smith on the boundary at Trent Bridge.
Jamaica-born Cottrell was lively in the field during the World Cup and could be classified as an improving component in a side that did not possess too many heroes.
At 30, the best is surely yet to come. His eye-catching salute involves a military march and a salute to the pavilion followed by opening his arms to the heavens (formerly a dab) after every wicket as he is a Jamaican Defence Force soldier.
The shorter formats of the game would appear to be his forte. He has 24 one-day internationals and 16 T20I’s to his name despite making his Test debut six years ago.
But he is an improved performer, no question.
This muscular performer brings an energy and verve to every team he represents as is witnessed in the Caribbean Premier League when he turns out for St Kitts & Nevis Patriots.
When the Windies are in need of new heroes, Cottrell is stepping up to the plate.