About the Match
England is about to start their tour of the West Indies and is the overwhelming favorite to win. The West Indian team seems to be stuck in a never ending rut of player disputes that threatens to derail their cricket for the foreseeable future. Their talent, however, is unquestionable. Can the underdogs punch above their weight in this series?
1st ODI Preview
There is always excitement when cricket is played in the West Indies, although, a lot of that could be nostalgic since the Caribbean has not got the team it deserves for a long time now. Even in this series, the West Indies will be missing some of their best players because they are off playing in other t20 leagues or are currently at odds with the West Indies cricket board.
Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russel, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree are just some of the names that will not be turning out for the West Indies.
It is easy to see why the West Indies is currently ranked 9th
in the ODI rankings.
Still, they do have some excellent players in the squad. There is a lot of excitement around Alzarri Joseph, a bowler who can generate some real pace as well as Shai Hope, considered by many to be the best young batsman in the West Indies right now.
We also think that Rovman Powell could get a run at the top of the order to provide some power hitting prowess at the top although Lewis, Carter or Kraigg Braithwaite could combine to do the openers job as well.
In Devendra Bishoo, the West Indies has a very under-rated bowler who is our pick to be the top wicket taker in this match and the series. There is plenty of power hitting potential for the end overs as well thanks to the presence of Carlos Braithwaite and Jason Holder in the lineup.
On paper, this West Indian team has the potential to push the England team, especially at home and we could be in for a tightly contested series.
Likely Playing Eleven
Powell, K. Brathwaite, E. Lewis, S. Hope(wk), J. Carter, K. Powell, C. Brathwaite, J. Holder (C), D. Bishoo, A. Joseph, S. Gabriel
English and West Indian teams have played each other 88 times in their history with each team having won 42 times each. It is also fair to say that the nature of the England ODI team has changed dramatically over the last 2 years, while the West Indians seem to have slipped even further.
The lost four bilateral series between the two teams have ended in an England victory and so the visitors can be excused for being extremely confident of a similar result this time around as well.
There is no questioning the massive power England’s batting lineup possesses nowadays. With Roy, Morgan, Buttler, Root and Stokes all certainties in the lineup, outscoring this England team will be very difficult.
Alex Hales is also likely to return to the starting eleven in place of Sam Billings, while the extremely talented Jonny Bairstow will continue to warm the bench.
Back Root to score the most runs this match, while Roy too would be very dangerous thanks to his CPL experience.
The bowling department is also very well served by Adil Rashid, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes and Liam Plunket. Youngster Tom Curran could also get a look in during this series as he is a highly rated bowler doing well at the county levels.
The only problem we have with this bowling lineup is that it is too one faceted and possibly lacks variety.
Likely Playing Eleven
Roy, A. Hales, J. Root, E. Morgan (C), B. Stokes, J. Buttler, M. Ali, C. Woakes, S. Finn, L. Plunkett, A.Rashid
England has been struggling a little in the warm-up games and even though they are the much stronger team on paper, the West Indies could spring a surprise.
Back West Indies To Win.
Winner: West Indies, 3.5 @ Bet on West Indies now