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England’s tour of West Indies 2019 is turning out to be much tougher than anyone expected. Not only did the West Indies win the test series, but they also managed to hold England to a 2-2 result in the ODI’s.
We actually believe that the ODI result holds as much relevance as the test series win keeping the ICC World Cup 2019 in mind. West Indies may have scraped through to this ten match edition cricket World Cup but they are going to be a very dangerous side to play against.
Now, the action shifts to the T20 format, arguably the one where the West Indies is the strongest. A lot of the West Indian stars have returned to the fold and this will only add to the chances of the home team.
England is no pushover though and could very well challenge the West Indies in its home conditions.
The West Indies have not officially announced their T20 squad yet but there has been talk from the selectors about keeping the entire ODI side together for the three-match T20 series as well. The decision is being taken with a view to allow the ODI side to stay together for the longest possible time and increase their chances of pulling off something special at the ICC World Cup 2019.
We think it is a huge advantage for the West Indies to have finished the ODI series as strongly as they did. It re-affirms the belief in the squad that they can beat the best ODI side in the world if they play to their potential.
A lot of players will translate very well from the ODI side to the T20’s. Chris Gayle, if he plays the series, is going to be the biggest threat to England once again. He made an incredible 77 from 27 deliveries with nine sixes and five fours. Everyone around the cricketing world knows what Gayle is capable of in the shortest format of the game, especially in such good form.
It is not just about Gayle, though. Players like Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, and even Jason Holder can light up the inning from ball one.
The only two batsmen that have looked a bit out of sorts are Shai Hope and John Campbell.
It will also be interesting to see if the West Indies keeps its entire bowling attack the same. Oshane Thomas picked up five wickets in the last ODI and first made his name in the CPL. Bowling four overs flat out is something he will relish.
Thomas may have picked up five wickets but we were pleasantly surprised to see how Carlos Brathwaite bowled in that match. His control of line and length was brilliant and he got some decent carry from the surface as well. Brathwaite may not be Andre Russell but we think the West Indies would want to keep him around for the West Indian ICC World Cup 2019 squad as well.
No one in the world is going to underestimate the West Indies any longer.
Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Shai Hope, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Carlos Brathwaite, Jason Holder, F Allen, Ashley Nurse, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas.
It is hard to understand how England is going to motivate itself for this T20 series when clearly the ICC World Cup 2019 is going to be on everyone’s mind. Unlike the West Indies, England is going to be bringing over its T20 specialists who are going to have no part to play in the coming cricket world cup.
Sam Billings, Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, and Dawid Malan are some of the players that will join the side and get a go.
England is a pretty good T20 side and is currently ranked 5th as compared to the West Indies at 7th. This current series, however, has not gone according to rankings.
England will need to be at their best and hope that it can outslug the West Indies batters on some excellent batting pitches.
The first T20 is going to be played at the same ground where England was demolished by the West Indian pace attack in the final ODI. There has been some talk in cricketing circles that the current England lineup is good on flat pitches but very vulnerable in conditions which have a little something in it.
We think England is going to come back better prepared and with a plan to tackle the bounce on the surface.
The batsmen we are looking out for in this first T20 are Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan. Both of them have been in good form and don’t mind taking on the short deliveries. Hales also has the advantage of batting in the powerplay which gives him an excellent chance to score freely.
The bowling for England is going to be the major advantage over the West Indies. Their bowlers are more used to bowling under pressure situations and have some very good exponents of the different variations in the game.
Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, and Chris Jordan are three bowlers that immediately spring to mind as ones that can make life difficult for the West Indian big hitters.
We also hope to see England use this opportunity to give players like Joe Denly and David Willey a go because they were not used at all in the ODI’s.
AD Hales, Jonny Bairstow, JE Root, Eoin Morgan, Joe Denly, Sam Billings, David Willey, Tom Curran, LE Plunkett, Chris Jordan, AU Rashid.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to field first
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The 1st T20 between the West Indies and England is going to be played at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet, St.Lucia. Some rain has been predicted for match day in St.Lucia but it is expected to clear up by the time the match starts. The pitch at the Darren Sammy Stadium was excellent for cricket every time it was used in this series.
It has bounce, pace, enough in it to make the batsmen jump. It also allows the opportunity to play some shots as Chris Gayle showed.
West Indies seems to be building some excellent momentum in this series and they are a fair shot of winning. They have the power in their batting and the depth to match England. Familiarity with the conditions and some genuine pace bowlers also help it have a realistic chance of winning against England.
Back the West Indies to win.
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