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England ODI

World Cup in sight, England and Windies go head-to-head

WI v Eng, 1st ODI, preview

The Windies dominated the Test series but England, the world's No.1 one-day international team, will be a different proposition in the 50-over format.

Overview
Windies v England
1st ODI
Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados
Wednesday, 20 February 2019, 15:00 GMT

The return of white-ball specialists Chris Gayle and Carlos Brathwaite bolsters a potent Windies batting line-up that already has Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope and Darren Bravo. Led by their inspirational captain Jason Holder, the team will take on a formidable England in what will be the first ODI of 2019 for both teams.

While they have a tri-series against Ireland and Bangladesh just before the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup in May, the Windies would do well to take this five-match series against the World Cup hosts and one of the strongest title contenders as a testing ground for their Cup probables.

Among those probables could be Oshane Thomas, Nicholas Pooran and Sheldon Cottrell, the youngsters who could make up the XI alongside the usual suspects. Thomas and Cottrell, the fast bowlers, can back the experienced Kemar Roach and Holder up.

Pooran, the wicket-keeper batsman and a Twenty20 specialist as such, may play as a lower-order batsman, with Hope likely to take up the gloves, and assist the likes of Ashley Nurse, the other all-rounder in addition to Brathwaite.

John Campbell, who made his Test debut in the recent series, has been included as an opener in Evin Lewis' absence. Although this might be a temporary move, a good run with the bat in the first two matches may open doors for him.

For England, it's the tried and tested combination of Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and captain Eoin Morgan, who make up a power-packed batting line-up.

Adil Rashid is their go-to spinner while David Willey and Liam Plunkett can use the long handle. Chris Woakes, a genuine all-rounder, Tom Curran and Mark Wood complete the squad as there clearly seems to be a problem of plenty for the visitors.

Roy and Bairstow have formed a successful opening pair and Hales might be the one missing out if England are to fit all of Root, Buttler, Stokes, Morgan and Ali into the XI. Even then, England may have to choose between Woakes and Willey, and Curran and Wood.

Gayle has decided to call time on his ODI career after the 2019 Men's World Cup
Gayle has decided to call time on his ODI career after the 2019 Men's World Cup

Key players

Shai Hope (Windies): Hope has two centuries and a 43 in his last three ODIs and he carries on his shoulders the hopes of a strong Windies show should this power-packed England line-up post a daunting total. His ODI average of 47.48 is commendable.

Eoin Morgan (England): The England captain has four half-centuries in his last six ODI innings and although he played his last 50-over match in October 2018, the left-hander knows how to rise to the occasion.

Conditions

Wednesday is expected to be warm and sunny with temperatures ranging between 29 and 24°C. Coincidentally, the last ODI played at this venue was also between these two sides, where England posted 328 runs, batting first, and won the match by 186 runs.

Squads

Windies: Fabian Allen, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder (c), Shai Hope, John Campbell, Ashley Nurse, Carlos Brathwaite, Nicholas Pooran, Sheldon Cottrell, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas

England: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

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