Windies ran England very close in the ODI series and were successful in levelling the series 2-2. England will be desperate to return home on a positive note after a victorious T20I series, but the shorter the format becomes, the more threatening Windies looks.
Had one match not been washed out, you never know, they could have even won the series with the intensity with which they are playing.
The last ODI was a disaster for the England batting lineup as wickets kept getting toppled. The floodgates were opened when Sheldon Cotterell dismissed Jonny Bairstow in the third over after which one wicket fell after another and England were folded up for just 113 in less than 30 overs.
The leading Windies bowler was Oshane Thomas who has impressed many in his short career and was bound to make an impactful performance sooner or later. The only thing that he needs to work on is his stamina as his pace drops considerably after 5-6 overs.
Chris Gayle was super consistent in the ODIs and blasted a 27 -balls 77 to make a statement. With fresh personal coming in, both teams look prety even stevens as far as the squads are concerned.
Carlos Brathwaite would take over the reins of the side from Jason Holder in the shortest format which would make for an exciting T20 series. With the power-hitters that both teams have, the T20Is are expected to be high scoring. The batters in both teams almost cancel out each other and the team bowling well would take the series.
Date: Wednesday, March 06, 2019
Timing: 01:00 AM PKT
Venue: Gros Islet, St Lucia
Weather: Bright and sunny in Barbados.
Conditions / Pitch Report: This Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium has an average of 303 runs scored per international T20 game and 7.84 runs scored per over. The pitch is the same one that was used for the final ODI. For those unaware, that was very bouncy and carried through to the keeper nicely and Gayle’s innings was more indicative of what could be achieved on it than England’s (obviously).
Head to Head:
Matches: 15 | England: 4 | West Indies: 11 | NR: 0
England: W L W L W (completed matches, most recent first)
West Indies: W L W L L
England have named a youthful squad, and the likes of Alex Hales and Sam Curran will get another chance to prove that their name should be on the list when it’s finally time to pick a squad that will carry the hopes of a nation in the home World Cup.
England without Stokes and Buttler are a diminished force. Moeen Ali has also been rested, while Jason Roy has flown back home for the birth of his child, and there are doubts surrounding Liam Plunkett’s fitness.
England have a deep pool of resources and this will be a test of that depth. How England’s reserves, such as Dawid Malan, David Willey, Chris Jordan, and the Curran brothers, Tom and Sam, fare will make for an important subplot.
England’s Probable XI:
1. Alex Hales, 2. Sam Billings, 3. Joe Root, 4. Eoin Morgan (capt), 5. Dawid Malan, 6. Jonny Bairstow (wk), 7. Joe Denly, 8. Tom Curran, 9. Chris Jordan, 10. Adil Rashid, 11. David Willey.
2. West Indies
Windies, on the other hand, have had an upturn in fortunes. They were victorious in the Test series and didn’t lose the ODI series. And with veterans like Chris Gayle and Darren Bravo back in the team and performing well, the landscape of West Indian cricket suddenly looks more promising than anyone would have expected it to a few months back.
Nicholas Pooran’s name stands out when one glances through the Windies squad. The batsman was hardly used in the ODI series, but the T20I series could be the perfect platform for him to show what he can offer.
West Indies are the reigning world champions in this format. England are the favourites to become world champions in the 50-over format. After a run glut in the ODIs, will the T20Is provide more of the same? And what of the result?
They could either inject much-needed confidence or pose new headaches ahead of a world event in a totally different format in totally different conditions. That’s a tricky proposition.
West Indies Probable XI:
1. Chris Gayle, 2. John Campbell, 3. Shai Hope (wk), 4. Darren Bravo, 5. Shimron Hetmyer, 6. Jason Holder (capt), 7. Carlos Brathwaite, 8. Ashley Nurse, 9. Devendra Bishoo, 10. Sheldon Cottrell, 11. Oshane Thomas
Players to watch:
1. Chris Gayle – Batsman, West Indies
Chris Gayle is always a dangerous player when it comes to the shortest format of the game. One of the most powerful hitters of the ball, Gayle doesn’t need any time to adjust and can switch gears in an instant. He has been very consistent with the runs for West Indies and could be one of the most important players in the series.
2. Shai Hope – Bowler, West Indies
Hope carries on his shoulders the hopes of a strong Windies show should this power-packed England line-up post a daunting total.
3. Eoin Morgan – Batsman, England
What Shai Hope is to Windies, Eoin Morgan is to England. Morgan is a natural when it comes to big knocks and could be a lethal player for the England in the series.
4. Alex Hales – Batsman, England
Arguably the most in-form player in this England team, Alex Hales is capable of a huge knock that could have a big impact in the game and is England’s trump card in the middle-order.
Stats and trivia:
- West Indies have won just one of three T20Is they have played in St Lucia … overall, 12 T20Is have been played there, as the ground was one of the host venues for the World T20 in 2010.