Advertisement

ENG v WI, 5th ODI Preview: Depleted West Indies will test fringe players in inconsequential game

West Indies will be without their skipper Jason Holder and explosive opener Evin Lewis.

Alzarri Joseph of Windies
Alzarri Joseph of West Indies. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

The fourth ODI at The Oval did not end on a bright note. The rain had the final say as England were awarded a 6-run win via the D/L method. In all probability, the home side might have coasted through in a full game too but a couple of quick wickets can change the complexion of the game.

West Indies were heartbroken after the loss. Two of their younger players produced their best performance in international cricket and yet ended up on the losing side. While Evin Lewis’ 176* was as special a knock as any, Alzarri Joseph’s pace and aggression helped him to pick a maiden five-wicket haul (5/56). That is the beauty of the game, it is a great leveler. But West Indies should take heart from their exemplary batting display in London and look finish the series on a high.

Advertisement

England missed the services of their star player Ben Stokes the other night but he, along with Alex Hales, remain unavailable for this game as well. West Indies are without their skipper Jason Holder, who has flown back home to attend his uncle’s funeral. Evin Lewis, in all probability, won’t take part in this game either after hurting his ankle in the last game. Both sides would want to test young legs in this dead rubber. West Indies’ balance will definitely be affected as Holder opened the bowling and batted at No. 6. They will have to bring in a batsman to replace their skipper.

Focus will be on

Eoin Morgan

After scoring just 22 runs in his last 9 professional innings, Morgan was off the mark with a streaky boundary through the slips. Maybe that was the luck he needed to bat his way out of form. He survived a run out scare a few minutes later after he crunched a cover drive through the covers for 4. But it wasn’t to be for the English captain as he was caught brilliantly by Kyle Hope at fine leg for 19. This was his highest score in the series and took his tally to 29 runs in 3 innings. All eyes will be on Morgan at The Rose Bowl as he is struggling for runs. They say that a batsman is just a couple of boundaries away from regaining form but it has been a rough ride for the 31-year old in an extended period of time. The southpaw will be desperate to make a contribution in the final ODI.

Shai Hope

The Headingley hero hasn’t set the stage alight in the ODI series after producing a historic performance in Leeds in the last week of August. West Indies were expecting a lot from Shai Hope in the limited overs series but the right-hander has managed to score just 66 runs in 3 innings at 22. He has got starts in every innings but has found a way to get out. The 23-year old needs to make full use of the form he is in at the moment and help his side grab a win before they set off for the Caribbean Island. Incidentally, Hope has a superior record in ODIs compared to Tests hence it is absolutely necessary for him to stand up in Southampton.

Team Combinations

England

Jason Roy did not harm to his reputation and grabbed his opportunity with both hands by scoring a quick-fire 84. He will open the innings alongside Bairstow. The middle order has quality as Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Jos Butler, and Sam Billings have enough experience to play in the middle overs. The presence of Moeen Ali at No. 7, who scored a rollicking 25-ball 48 the other night, gives them balance. England will most definitely give Tom Curran a debut in this game at the expense of Jake Ball. Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, and Liam Plunkett will make u the rest of the numbers.

West Indies

Chris Gayle will have to find a new partner to open the innings with. Sunil Ambris is the reserve opener in the side and might get an opportunity to bat alongside the Jamaican star. The middle order will comprise of the Hope brothers – Kyle and Shai – followed by the stand-in skipper Jason Mohammed. They have the experience of Marlon Samuels, who looks set to bat at No. 4 again. Rovman Powell scored a brisk 28 in London and will retain his position in the team. Ashley Nurse might have to make way for Devendra Bishoo while Jerome Taylor, Kesrick Williams, and Alzarri Joseph will share the fast-bowling duties.

Predicted XI

England: Jason Roy, Johnny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (C), Jos Butler (w/k), Sam Billings, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett and Tom Curran.

West Indies: Chris Gayle, Sunil Ambris, Shai Hope (w/k), Marlon Samuels, Jason Mohammed (C), Rovman Powell, Kyle Hope, Devendra Bishoo, Kesrick Williams, Alzarri Joseph and Jerome Taylor.

Stat Attack

36 – Runs required by Morgan to become the second highest run-getter in ODIs for England.

46 – Runs required by Joe Root to complete 4,000 ODI runs. He will be the 10th Englishmen to achieve the feat.

2 – Wickets required by Moeen Ali to complete 50 ODI wickets.

Advertisement