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West Indies seek crucial ranking points, series solace in Barbados

by   •  Last updated on 2020-04-13 16:05:31

England may be two-nil up in the series, and looking for a clean sweep with victory in Barbados tomorrow (March 9). But they have had it far from their own way. The West Indies have been skilled and stubborn opponents, if somewhat lacking in experience and nous. So as preparation for England ahead of this summer's Champions Trophy, it has been a useful trip.

Despite the third ODI at the Kensington Oval being a dead rubber, coach Paul Farbrace, who confirmed England would resist the opportunity to rotate their squad, has demanded a series whitewash. Farbrace is particularly looking for his side to display their ruthlessness - something that will be vital if they are to challenge during the summer - and also put in a more commanding display than they have so far shown.

England have not managed a clean sweep in an ODI series since beating Pakistan 4-0 during the winter of 2011/12 in the UAE. Doing the same against a weakened West Indies, devoid of many of their best one-day players, would not be as impressive but Eoin Morgan's men can only beat the opposition in front of them.

For the home side, the encouraging performances in the two games in Antigua should give them hope of victory in Barbados, particularly if the surface suits spinners Ashley Nurse and Devendra Bishoo. The displays of players such as Jonathan Carters and Jason Mohammed prove that there is plenty of talent in the Caribbean. But talent alone will not earn West Indies to an automatic qualification berth to the next World Cup. They have four games (the Barbados ODI versus against England and three more against Pakistan) coming up in quick succession to bridge a five-point gap to eighth-placed Pakistan. These games could go a long way into determining their fate come the cut-off date in September.

In the second game on Sunday (March 5) Jason Holder's team were not able to rectify the mistakes they made in the first - primarily careless batting but also dropped catches - and lost a game they really should have won. These are matters of concentration and experience rather than talent. Even if the West Indies do not win in Barbados, Law will want them to show improvement and more resolve in those areas.

When: West Indies vs England, Third ODI , March 9, 2017 - 13:30 GMT

Where: Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados

What to expect: The Kensington Oval pitch is expected to be similar to Antigua, namely low and slow - which means that it will be another struggle for batsmen. With a 9.30am start and a warm but cloudy forecast, there may also be some swing with the new ball for whoever bowls first.

Team News


Farbrace has suggested that England will resist the urge to experiment in the final game and will instead pick their best eleven in order to win the series 3-0. That includes Alex Hales, who has been passed fit by England's medical team after recovering from an injury sustained on the India tour in January. He will return to the top of the order, replacing Sam Billings. There may also be a return for seamer Jake Ball, who is now fully fit after suffering a niggle in one of the warm-up games ahead of the series. Here, though, England may opt to stick with Steven Finn in order to keep building the confidence of a bowler who offers so much when on song even if he hasn't displayed his best form so far in the series.

West Indies:

Following Shannon Gabriel's side strain, sustained during the second ODI in Antigua, the West Indies have called up fast bowler Miguel Cummins to their squad after leaving him out of the first two matches. Either Cummins or Alzarri Jospeh, a bowler with genuine pace, will take Gabriel's spot. All-rounder Rovman Powell, who averages 37.47 in List A cricket, may also come into consideration.

What they said:

"Over the past two years in ODI cricket, once we've picked a team at the start of the series we've pretty much stuck with it. The lads have known that if you haven't got in in the first game, it's going to be pretty hard to get in as the series unfolds. You don't want to give away international caps." - Paul Farbrace

"Obviously, the patience is running out with the public. But we're still human beings. We're very young on the international circuit. You've got to bear with them a bit, but it's important we learn as quickly as possible." - Jason Holder.


England (From): Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Sam Billings, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(w), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Steven Finn, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Liam Dawson, Tom Curran.

West Indies (From): Kraigg Brathwaite, Evin Lewis, Kieran Powell, Shai Hope(w), Jason Mohammed, Jonathan Carter, Jason Holder(c), Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Devendra Bishoo, Shannon Gabriel, Rovman Powell, Alzarri Joseph.