ENG v WI, 3rd ODI Preview: On song England lock horns with a wounded Caribbean unit

 They can disregard their opponents’ potential at their own peril, but to say Windies will beat England doesn’t sound rational by any stretch of imagination.

England batsman Jonathan Bairstow
England batsman Jonathan Bairstow celebrates his century. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

After beating West Indies comprehensively in the first ODI, England will be high on confidence when they step on the pitch at Bristol on Sunday. The second game at Trent Bridge was sacrificed to the rain gods and this officially confirmed Windies’ participation in the Qualifier’s tournament for the 2019 ICC World Cup.

Chris Gayle is out with an injury for the visitors and this indeed is a huge blow for them. Nevertheless, there is some serious talent in the middle order like Shai Hope, Marlon Samuels or Rovman Powell, who are well capable of playing long innings with ease. They currently have nothing to lose as their direct qualification chance to the World Cup has officially been put to bed. This should make them feel a little better and play without much burden on their shoulders.


England on the other hand, have been brutal with their approach. They showed no mercy whilst chasing down a moderate target and Jonny Bairstow’s maiden ODI hundred slaughtered the Windies’ hopes into fragments. England has been fantastic with the ball in hand as well, picking up wickets at regular intervals and restricting the flow of boundaries. They can disregard their opponents’ potential at their own peril, but to say Windies will beat England doesn’t sound rational by any stretch of imagination.

Toss: Windies won the toss and opted to field

Playing XI

Windies: Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope(w), Marlon Samuels, Jason Mohammed, Rovman Powell, Jason Holder(c), Ashley Nurse, Devendra Bishoo, Jerome Taylor, Miguel Cummins

England: Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(w), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, David Willey

Focus will be on

Jonny Bairstow (England)

The new English opener Jonny Bairstow embarked his career at the top of the order with a hundred which he’ll remember for a long period of time. Chasing a target of 205 runs, Bairstow took charge of the innings and led the line beautifully. He has been emphatic in the past few years in the middle and its been a remarkable transformation from the lad to adjust himself to the top order role. The talent is definitely there and if he gets going, England will post another big total.

Jason Holder (Windies)

Jason Holder has been performing consistently with both bat and ball, but that somehow is going unnoticed. Nevertheless, his contribution in pulling their team past the 200-mark was remarkable in the first ODI and with the ball in hand, he is always a threat. With so much at stake for his side, there ain’t a better occasion for the skipper to lead from the front.

Playing combinations


Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow, as usual, will open the batting with Joe Root coming in at number 3. Their middle order can make a case for being the best in the world. With the likes of Ben Stokes, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali comprising the middle, a lot of runs in the middle overs can be expected which in turn will have a huge impact on the match.

Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett and David Willey have been outstanding in the first game and only a miracle would drop one of these players from the XI. Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali will be the spinning duo, with the likes of Ben Stokes being a brilliant option as a sixth bowler.


With Gayle injured, Evin Lewis will open the batting with Kyle Hope. Shai Hope as he usually does, will come in at number 3 and the experienced campaigner Marlon Samuels will bat at 4. Rovman Powell, Jason Mohammad, and Jason Holder comprise the middle order and it’d be fair to say, this contingent is far too fragile to face the English bowlers.

Visitors might bring in an extra fast bowling option in Miguel Cummins, which would mean Ashley Nurse will be axed. Jerome Taylor and Cummins might share the new ball, with Jason Holder, Kesrick Williams and Devendra Bishoo adding more stability to the bowling contingent.


4 – England have won just 4 out of the 10 games played at the County Ground, Bristol

2 – Moeen Ali needs two wickets to complete 50 ODI wickets

40 – Jos Buttler needs 40 more runs to complete 2,500 runs in ODIs