We take a look at the one-off T20 International between England and the West Indies set to get underway on Saturday 16 September 2017 at 19:30.
With the Tests behind them, England and the West Indies will now turn their attention to a single T20 International before they play five One Day Internationals over the course of 10 days.
The Windies will be far more confident in the shorter formats of the game, and will be further buoyed by the fact that they took a Test off of the hosts at Headingley.
England vs West Indies | Saturday 16 September | Chester-le-Street, Durham | 19:30
To Win Match
England 57/100 | Tie 35/1 | West Indies 29/20
This will be first time that Ben Stokes – and England – face the West Indies in a T20 International since that match at Eden Gardens in the World T20 final. Ian Bishop’s commentary “Carlos Brathwaite! Carlos Brathwaite! Remember the name!” was forever immortalised. A ball sailed into the stands while an inconsolable Stokes wept on the pitch.
The stakes won’t be as high this time around, but you can be sure that the English will want to go some way in righting the wrongs of that evening. As such, they’ve named quality squad which boasts the considerable batting talent of Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow and Stokes.
Trevor Bayliss will be happy to have guys like Adil Rashid, Chris Jordan and David Willey to fall back on should the top and middle order battle. Willey is a genuine all-rounder while Rashid is considered a bowling all-rounder at this point. Jordan can also slap it around a bit toward the back end of the innings if need be.
The English coach will be relying on the above mentioned guys to get the runs on the board against a West Indies side that is likely to either score 200+ or get bundled out for fewer than 120. One feels that the former is more likely, especially considering the lack of real venom in England’s attack.
Adil Rashid will be key to restricting the powerful Windies top and middle order. If he can keep things quiet and take a couple of wickets in the process, then the English will be in business. However, if he travels, I don’t see the likes of Willey, Liam Plunkett and Jordan scuppering the islanders’ momentum.
The West Indies have named a formidable squad for this one-off T20 which boasts the likes of Carlos Brathwaite, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard and the exciting – if wildly inconsistent – Rovman Powell.
I’d like to touch on Powell a bit. He shot to prominence during the WICB Regional Super 50 where smashed a lightning-fast 95 before taking 5-36 for Jamaica against Trinidad and Tobago in the semi-final. He was drafted into the Kolkata Knight Riders side for the 2017 IPL but never got a game, something that has no doubt affected his confidence.
He’s battled to assert himself with the bat since then and endured a pretty average CPL T20, only managing a paltry 173 runs in 11 matches at an average of 15.72. His bowling wasn’t particularly good in that competition either. Despite taking five wickets in 14 overs, his economy rate of 11.35 is less than ideal.
One man who did enjoy a stellar CPL – after what was admittedly a disappointing year – was the self-proclaimed Universe Boss himself, Chris Gayle. The big Jamaican managed to plunder 376-runs in 11 innings at 62.66 and will look to bring that form into the international arena. Chester-le-Street isn’t the biggest ground in the world, so he’ll definitely fancy himself against the English attack.
Sunil Narine’s performance for the Windies will be equally as important as that of Rashid’s for England. Narine is easily one of the best short-format spinners in the world at this moment and will need a massive performance to assist and underwhelming West Indian pace attack.
Verdict: West Indies 29/20
This will no doubt be an interesting clash with both sides containing some of the most exciting T20 players in the world right now. England are rightly favorites, however, the Windies thrive as underdogs in the shortest format of the game. They’ve got more than enough X-Factor players to blow England out of the water should they perform. With this in mind, small stake on the West Indian win at 29/20.