The Rose Bowl in Southampton hosts its third match of this year’s World Cup tournament as England take on the West Indies in a day game this Friday.
Fresh off a six-day break, England’s schedule gets a little busier now with three games in eight days. With all three matches against teams ranked eight, ninth and tenth in the current ODI rankings, it looms as a perfect opportunity to entrench themselves in the top four.
While England’s bowling department has been solid so far in the tournament, after claiming 28 wickets in the first three matches, the batting department has been brilliant. Three scores over 300 means they have achieved that feat in seven straight matches now – a new world record in ODI cricket.
Such is the depths of the line up – Jason Roy (averages 42.04), Jonny Bairstow (46.38), Joe Root (50.73), Eoin Morgan (39.54) and Jos Buttler (42.23), it would not surprise to see the home nation eclipse their previous record (of 338), a few more times over the next month.
With the West Indies having won just three of their last 21 completed matches against England and claiming only one victory on English soil in over a decade (last week against Pakistan), this looks like ‘mission impossible’ on paper for the men from the Caribbean.
Yet not only have the West Indies won two of the last three contests against England and drew the ODI series 2-2 back in February, but there seems to be a real spike in player enthusiasm and confidence of late.
With Shai Hope averaging over 60 since the start of 2018, Shimron Hetmeyer 56.33 in 2019 and Oshane Thomas taking 2.5 wickets on average per match this year, an upset would actually not surprise.
ENG vs WI – Probable XI
Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (WK), Moeen Ali, Liam Plunkett, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood.
Bench – Chris Woakes, James Vince, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson.
Chris Gayle, Shai Hope (wk), Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder (c), Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Kemar Roach, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas.
ENG vs WI – Players to watch out for
Jason Roy recorded his ninth ODI century last match, smashing 153 runs from 121 balls. Every single one of those nine matches that Roy reached triple figures, England have won.
His duel in their opening overs against Sheldon Cottrell looms as a must see event. Will it be the ‘bat’ or the ‘salute’ doing the talking?
The highest score chased at the Rose Bowl is 306/7 (NZ vs ENG 2015).
Chris Woakes’ batting average of 38.33 against the West Indies is his second best against any opponent.
The team batting first has won 13 of 23 completed matches at the Rose Bowl.
Chris Gayle’s career batting average of 38.14 jumps to 51.48 against England.