Windies hope for momentum before World Cup qualifiers | Sports

Devendra Bishoo gets bowled behind his legs, England v West Indies, 1st ODI, Old Trafford, September 19, 2017/Getty Images

NOTTINGHAM: West Indies coach Stuart Law is looking to the remainder of the one-day international series against England to help him build a settled team ahead of next year´s World Cup qualifying tournament.

Defeat in the first ODI at Old Trafford on Tuesday ended West Indies´ hopes of gaining direct entry to the 2019 World Cup in Britain.

Instead the two-time champions will now have to come through a qualifying tournament, set to take place in Zimbabwe early next year, if they are to secure a spot in the business end of the showpiece 50-over event.

West Indies reached the first three World Cup finals, all staged in England, winning the inaugural edition in 1975 and repeating that achievement in 1979 before suffering a shock defeat by India at Lord´s in the climax of the 1983 edition.

But this year saw the Caribbean side fail to qualify for the elite Champions Trophy one-day tournament as they were outside the world´s top eight 50-over teams.

So it was no surprise when West Indies missed out on an automatic place at the World Cup.

Following a washed-out second ODI at Nottingham´s Trent Bridge on Thursday, Law´s men only have three more matches in England — starting with Sunday´s fixture in Bristol — and a three-match ODI series in New Zealand scheduled before the qualifiers.

“Our plan is to go to Zimbabwe next year with a settled team, a team where everyone knows their roles and what they want to achieve,” Law told reporters at Trent Bridge.

“It´s a balancing act. I´d like to go to New Zealand with a team which is pretty settled before the qualifiers,” the former Australia batsman added.

Ben Stokes broke a useful third-wicket stand, England v West Indies, 1st ODI, Old Trafford, September 19, 2017/Getty Images

Chris Gayle, who suffered a hamstring injury while warming-up at Trent Bridge, and fellow senior batsman Marlon Samuels returned for the limited-overs leg of West Indies´ tour after missing the preceding 2-1 Test series loss.

Meanwhile, spinner Sunil Narine could come back into the ODI side as well.

Narine was named man-of-the-match in the West Indies´ win over England in the lone Twenty20 international of the tour at Chester-le-Street on Saturday, as they repeated their World Twenty20 final win against the same opponents in Kolkata last year.

Narine, however, has said he wants to play domestic one-day cricket before returning at international level — his last ODI was 11 months ago.

“Sunil Narine showed his class in the T20. He stated he wanted to get some 50-over cricket in, which is fair enough, but if he decides he wants to give ODIs a go he´d be one of the first picks with the spin he provides,” said Law.

West Indies could also soon be welcoming back Andre Russell, with the big-hitting all-rounder due to complete a one-year ban for missed drugs tests on January 31, 2018.

“Most people would be excited to have a guy like Andre Russell champing at the bit to play international cricket,” Law said.

But Law is aware of the need to steer a path between recalling star names and backing the current squad.

“It´s a balancing act because what some players bring is extraordinary and you don´t want to nullify that effect,” he said.

Law added: “We´ve still got some selectorial conversations to have, to understand if we have the best players to take this team forward.

“This group I feel has a lot of good, that´s why they are here.”

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