By Brandon Corlette
If this article were to evaluate the performance of players of Caribbean origin at IPL the halfway stage of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL 2020), lightning quick bowler Jofra Archer would top that evaluation because of his stellar performance and the impact it is having on the tournament.
Archer is, however, a naturalised Englishman, and the intent of this article is to evaluate the performances of those considered “the Caribbean boys”, meaning players from the West Indies team who are participating in IPL 2020.
With the exception of Nicholas Pooran and Kieron Pollard, “the Caribbean boys” have hitherto been returning ordinary performances at the half-way stage of the IPL.
Veteran all-rounder Dwayne Bravo did not participate in the first few matches of the IPL, due to an injury. At the halfway stage, Bravo had played in five matches for Chennai Super Kings (CSK), and had picked up five wickets at an economy rate of 8.72 and an average of 31.40, with a strike rate of 21.6.
Bravo has shown glimpses of his best form with the ball and in the field, but is yet to produce something spectacular for CSK.
Delhi Capitals’ Guyanese duo of Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul have thus far had small roles to play in this IPL.
The Berbician Hetmyer played in six matches, batting in five innings, and scored 91 runs at an average of 30.33, with a strike rate of 149.18. Hetmyer’s high-score this season is 45, and in this season, his task is to finish matches off for Capitals, batting at that number five/six position.
In contrast, his teammate and good friend Paul did not play in any match so far this season as the Capitals’ pace battery look a formidable one, with Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje.
Kings XI Punjab have not had the best results in this IPL. The three West Indians in the squad are Nicholas Pooran, Chris Gayle and Sheldon Cottrell.
Chris Gayle has not played a match at the half-way stage, but is confirmed to play the next fixture. Pooran has played in all seven matches for Punjab, and scored 212 runs at an average of 35.33.
Pooran has so far been the most impressive West Indian in the IPL, with his clean eye-catching ball striking. He scored the fastest IPL fifty in the 2020 season.
Meanwhile, Cottrell in his six matches took six wickets at an average of 29.33 and an economy rate of 8.36. His performances have been patchy, and since being slammed for five sixes in an over, his form with the ball has given Kings XI trouble in the bowling department.
KKR boys Andre Russell and Sunil Narine have not been at their impactful best at the half-way stage. Narine has been reported for a suspect action, but in his six matches this season so far, he scored only 44 runs at a poor batting average of 8.80.
With the ball, Narine claimed five wickets at an average of 35.60 and an economy rate of 8.09, very unlike the magician batsmen have come to respect.
Russell, on the other hand, played seven matches and scored 71 runs at an average of 11.83 with a strike rate of 142. With the ball, Russell has shown glimpses of his skill, snaring six wickets in the five innings he bowled.
The consistent Mumbai Indians have had great team efforts. West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard has been impressive with bat, being at his explosive best with 174 runs at an average of 174, having five not-outs. His strike rate is supreme at 189.13 with his high-score being 60.
Alzaari Joseph and Sherfane Rutherford are the other West Indians in the Mumbai team, but they have not played any match thus far at the half-way stage.
For Royals, Oshane Thomas is the lone West Indian player in the squad, but he is yet to play a match at the half-way stage.
Sunrisers Hyderabad are equipped with the likes of Jason Holder and Fabian Allen, but they have not played a match at this stage.
Given overall performances, not all the West Indian players can boast of an impactful time at the half-way stage of the IPL. Given their skills and ability in T20 cricket, the Caribbean boys are expected to finish the season on a high.