About the Match
Evin Lewis played his best ODI innings, as did Jason Holder, to ensure that the West Indies ended up with a massive score but some poor bowling and untimely rain meant that they once again ended up on the losing side. Can they build on the last match to end their tour on a positive note or will England go into the Ashes on the back of a 4-0 victory?
It looked for a while that the loss of Ben Stokes and Alex Hales would haunt England but they had just enough in the tank to end up on the right side of DLS calculations when the rain came down. Jason Roy who reclaimed his opening slot in the team played a typically aggressive knock although we doubt he would have been fed more loose deliveries at any other time in his international career.
Runs are runs though, particularly for someone like Roy who has been short of them. Jonny Bairstow struggled to get fluency into his game and we still wonder if he is cut out to be the long-term opening batsman. Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, and Sam Billings all failed to score many runs but they did not let the run rate drop at any time of the innings.
Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali then showed brilliant form once again to pip England over the mark when the rain came down.
The last match of the season can be associated with some amount of lethargy particularly when there is almost nothing at stake and this is something that England will have to guard against. They have been known to lose such matches in the past.
The increased scrutiny around the team because of the Ben Stokes incidence should help keep them motivated, though. This last victory proved that even the best effort of the West Indies team may not be enough to overcome this incredibly strong England side.
The management would love to see a better bowling performance than the last match where they were unable to hit the lengths that were needed at the death overs. Tom Curran has been very good in that role in the couple of matches he has played and he could get a chance ahead of Jake Ball to prove that once again.
Chris Woakes looked back to his best as well with early wickets and that will be very encouraging for England once again.
Evin Lewis proved once again why he is considered a special talent and someone who can lead a West Indies resurgence. Unfortunately, he will not be taking part in the final ODI after getting injured at the end of his innings and that will be a huge loss for the team.
It is him and Chris Gayle that have been scoring the majority of the runs with only Jason Holder providing support down the order. Speaking of Holder, the improvement in his batting has been absolutely amazing and he is a genuine threat with the bat now.
For the West Indies to compete getting a huge total is pre-requisite. Their bowling is just all over the place and even though Alzarri Joseph took 5 wickets in the last match, he was just as inconsistent as the others.
Taylor, Holder, and Cummins are all one paced and offer at least one bad ball an over. No amount of runs will be enough to defend for this bowling lineup if they give up so many loose deliveries against a batting lineup that is filled with power hitters throughout.
There are not too many options that the West Indies can play around with in their squad. Maybe trying Bishoo in place of Nurse or giving Kyle Hope a run at the top now that Evin Lewis is injured are some options that they have but we don’t see it making a big difference to the end result.
Rovman Powell has been talked up as the next Andre Russell but he is nowhere close in his bowling ability. The West Indies must try to lure back their star players to the ODI game otherwise it is difficult to see them improving rapidly.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch at Southampton is excellent for batting but this late in the season, there might be some swing around for the new ball bowlers. It has been a general trend to see flat batting wickets in England but the overhead conditions might balance things out a little.
There is some rain in the air, though, and the current forecast suggests DLS will come into play once again.
England to win