Windies wildcards can win WT20: Ambrose

Bowling coach says some of the world's most devastating T20 performers can combine to take the top prize in India

They've been Test cricket's whipping boys for a generation but the West Indies have the squad to win the upcoming ICC World T20, insists bowling coach Curtly Ambrose.

The men from the Caribbean, who won the tournament in 2012, have a host of dynamic players who regularly shine in the world's domestic Twenty20 competitions.

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"Look at the team that we have – half of the team are in demand across the world for different T20 leagues," Ambrose said.

"So you may find one guy here, maybe two in this league and two in another league, but we have all at once so we have a great chance of winning this T20 tournament – just look at our squad."

Ambrose's point was highlighted recently by the standout performances of Andre Russell (Sydney Thunder), Samuel Badree (Brisbane Heat), Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo (Melbourne Renegades) in the KFC Big Bash League.

Russell was a revelation for the Thunder, proving a key figure in their transformation from perennial battlers to BBL|05 champions.

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The Jamaican took 16 wickets and consistently clocked 145kph, as well as hammering 185 runs at a strike-rate of 186 to be one of the signings of the season.

Bravo (201 runs at 50, SR 164, and six wickets) was one of the Renegades' best, while Gayle was relatively low-key by his world-beating standards before exploding in the final match to register the equal-fastest T20 half-century of all time (12 balls).

In Brisbane, Badree proved consistently economical and his 5-22 against Melbourne Stars was the best figures of BBL|05, also shooting him into top position among the official BBL Player Rankings at the end of the regular season.

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West Indies are in Group 1 for the World T20, alongside defending champions Sri Lanka, 2010 winners England, as well as South Africa and the top team from qualifying Group B (Hong Kong, Zimbabwe, Scotland, Afghanistan).

"Marlon Samuels, Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, captain Darren Sammy and all the senior players have to lead from the front," Ambrose added. "From my experience over the years, when the senior players – the guys that we expect to really take the mantle and take the team forward – are doing well, automatically the younger players will step up to the plate."

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Samuels, Gayle, Russell, Bravo, Badree and Sammy are among eight members of the victorious 2012 World T20 squad backing up for this month's event in India.

"The fact that we've won a World Cup means we know how to get it done … this year we're coming in with eight members from the team that won the (T20) World Cup so the squad is not lacking in experience," Sammy said.

"The guys are seasoned T20 players so in that vein, I believe we have the right personnel and right calibre cricketers to help us perform in the conditions in India, and we just have that belief that we can do it.

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"It is not going to be easy. T20s is the format where the teams are much closer together (but) we still have the confidence that once we do the basics right, with the potential match-winners we have in that dressing room, we can be a great force to be reckoned with and go all the way."

Sammy also said the recent success of the West Indies Under-19 team at last month's 50-over World Cup in Bangladesh has also inspired his charges.

"Once West Indies win, we all win, whether it's the women or the men's team or the Under-19s," he added.

"Once we win it's a great feeling and we would like to emulate the Under-19 guys by going to India and repeating what they did in Bangladesh.

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"We're going to mention that in our meetings. This is a goal like we had in 2012, because when the West Indies win, the region is a much happier place."

The West Indies' campaign kicks off against England on March 16 in Mumbai.