ODI PREVIEW: Another expected run-fest, but can WI rebound?
(Reporting by Akeem Greene in Barbados, compliments of News Room and E-Networks)
When 724 runs are scored in One-Day International what’s your general thinking?
Well, you might be right, to an extent, in saying it was a batsman’s day out and bowlers were pounded to all parts of the ground, and it is hard to find fault with the defeated.
Windies posted 360-8, their joint-third highest in ODIs, and England responded with their highest successful chase on Wednesday at Kensington Oval.
Come Friday for the second match in the five-match series another platter of runs is expected to be served up for the close to capacity crowd that is anticipated.
The hosts reaffirmed they are capable of going the distance with the top-ranked nations, but their knockout came in the 12th round.
The blow which floored them was the struggle to sync all the three facets of cricket (batting, fielding and bowling). On Wednesday it was mostly their fielding and loose bowling.
While captain Jason Holder defended his bowling combination, genuine left-arm seamer Sheldon Cottrell, who warmed the benches on Wednesday, should be considered since the experience of Kemar Roach is not available due to injury.
Spinners Ashely Nurse and Devendra Bishoo will want their chances be held, but they themselves have to find ways of sustaining pressure in the middle overs.
Batting wise, it is unlikely any changes would be made. It would hard to sit-out debutants John Campbell, who looked good for 30, or Nicholas Pooran, who fell for a nervous four-ball duck.
At 39, Chris Gayle remains the mainstay of the batting and his calculated approach due to the aging legs means the other batsman must hit top gear quickly.
The high point of the ‘Gayle Storm’ was the 12 sixes he blasted in a record total of 23 by the team, but England only had six and they won quite comfortably since they rotated the strike with much ease which allowed them to win the battle of the heavy-hitters.
Captain Eoin Morgan said he was surprised at the surface which has caused to them to rethink their approach for the next match. However, it hard to foresee to many changes.
Mooen Ali had a tough outing of 0-85, his worst figures in ODIs, but England also had the only two bowlers to concede less than a run-a-ball, with Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes returning combined figures of 18-0-96-5.
News coming from the England camp, is Woakes could be rested due to a nagging knee injury and the World Cup being the top priority. It would pave the way for David Willey, a genuine swing bowler who offers strong support with the bat.
West Indies squad: Jason Holder (captain), Fabian Allen, Devendra Bishoo, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, John Campbell, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Ashley Nurse, Nicholas Pooran, Oshane Thomas.
England squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), 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.
Match time is 11:00h.