By Brandon Corlette
With the absence of regular One Day International (ODI) Captain, Jason Holder, Rovman Powell was appointed to captain the West Indies team in the upcoming Bangladesh ODI series. The Jamaica-born batting all-rounder is a 25-year-old cricketer that has represented the West Indies in 48 limited overs internationals. Powell played 31 ODIs in his blooming career in addition to his 17 T20 Internationals. The right hander has a lone international century with two half centuries thus far; he scored 101 against Ireland in the 50- over World Cup Qualifiers. Powell has been a bright prospect in the first class arena, averaging 32.66 with the bat with 13 half centuries in his 65 List A cricket career.
In addition to his batting, Powell has picked up one five-wicket haul in List A cricket with 21 wickets. However, his bowling has not caused an impact in international cricket as he is recognised as a specialist batsman in the team. In the Caribbean Premier League, Powell had a great season scoring 329 runs for the Jamaica Tallawahs with his highest score being a scintillating 84. Powell had an astonishing average of 54.83 in the 2018 CPL, hitting 20 sixes and scoring three half centuries.
Given the fact that Powell has never been recognised as a natural leader to the Caribbean, the selectors have strangely appointed the Jamaican as the captain of the upcoming ODI series against Bangladesh. Averaging a mere 26.16 in ODIs a non-mind-blowing record thus far in his career, raised a number of questions over his appointment as captain. The West Indies ODI squad that was selected for the upcoming series have experienced players such as Marlon Samuels and the T20 International captain and Carlos Brathwaite who recently won the Regional Super 50 tournament as captain. Brathwaite is not amongst the consistent performers for the West Indies since his World T20 heroics, but his captaincy skills have developed tremendously over the years; he proved that after winning the Super 50 tournament for the Combined Campus and Colleges (CCC).
Some may say Shimron Hetmyer is too young to captain the Caribbean senior team. Hetmyer has proved on countless occasions that he is a natural leader and he performs brilliantly while leading. The rapidly rising Guyanese batsman has captained the West Indies Under-19 team to victory in the Under-19 Cricket World Cup. Hetmyer averages an astonishing 43.41 in ODIs scoring three unbelievable ODI centuries in a short period of time. At 21 year old, the present New Zealand captain, Kane Williamson became captain of the New Zealand team, and he is amongst the finest batsmen in the modern era. Captains that are usually appointed at a young age are those that become successful in the future. South Africa’s Graeme Smith is a perfect example, leading the South Africa team at 22 years old, Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hassan led his team at 22 and neither of the players won Under-19 Cricket World Cups.
The Cricket World Cup is scheduled for May-June 2019 and West Indies have two ODI series until the beginning of the prestigious 50-over tournament. Time will tell if Powell is the right choice made by the selectors in the first of two ODI series to play, prior to the World Cup. Powell, as the majority of the Windies batters, lacked consistency in recent times and his place in the squad to the World Cup in England may be determined if the thread cuts.