On a bit of break after an arduous tour of India, England is set to get back on the field with Caribbean sojourn for a 3 ODI series against West Indies. The series may look as unimportant at first but it still holds a bit of relevance. With the Champions trophy approaching, England, who will be hosting the tournament, are set to test their bench strength ahead of the big event.
For West Indies it will be a chance to keep their rankings strong enough to ensure automatic selection for the 2019 World Cup they are currently ranked ninth). Their cricket is on evidently decline and the series is of far bigger importance for them. They have not won a bilateral ODI series since 2014 and things have just got embarrassing as they failed to qualify for the Champions Trophy. A good show in the upcoming games would good push to improve their status.
West Indies’ squad will be dealing with the inexperience factor. Their opening pair will be the new duo of Evin Lewis and Kieran Powell, who is returning to the squad after a long three-year hiatus. ‘Test specialist’ Kraigg Braithwaite will be filling the role of the anchor, a responsibility which exiled Darren Bravo used to perform in the past. The rest of the batting order which has wicket-keeper Shai Hope, Jonathan Carter and Carlos Brathwaite will be the attacking options. Apart from Carlos, Rovman Powell and skipper Jason Holder will play as the other two all-rounders. The bowling attack will see young gun Alzarri Joseph and Shannon Gabriel with the new ball with Devendra Bishoo filling up the spin bowler’s shoes.
England’s injury issues persist with Jake Ball and opener Alex Hales yet to prove full fitness. This certainly means they will not be in action in the first game. Their absence gives a good chance to the likes of Steve Finn and Sam Billings to re-establish their stakes in the team. The rest of the side consists of proven match winners like Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Chris Woakes, and Stokes. Talking of wicket-keeping options, England will most likely go with Jos Buttler over Jonny Bairstow as the former adds more firepower to the side. While Moeen Ali remains a regular fit in the side, Adil Rashid, who was dropped during the India series, will be looking for a strong series.
Evin Lewis, Kieran Powell, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope (WK), Jonathan Carter, Carlos Brathwaite, Rovman Powell, Jason Holder (C), Devendra Bishoo, Ashley Nurse/Alzarri Joseph, Shannon Gabriel
Jason Roy, Sam Billings, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (C), Jos Buttler (WK), Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Steven Finn.
Match begins at 7.00 PM IST
Who said what?
“We’ve been a bit unlucky with injuries to the bowlers. We have a good crop of guys. We’ve always said we’ve 16 or 17 people who can play. We’re stretching the limits of that at the moment, but our batting’s certainly in the right space,” Eoin Morgan.
“I know the media will bill the series as Carlos Brathwaite v Ben Stokes, but it’s West Indies v England,” Carlos Brathwaite