West Indies v England

West Indies v England Third ODI Preview

2017-03-08
Hales set for return

England battled to success in the second One-Day international on Sunday to claim the series over the West Indies, giving them the opportunity to complete a series whitewash in Barbados on Thursday. Alex Hales is expected to return to England’s XI after an injury lay-off, with Sam Billings set to miss out after a poor start to the series.

Ashley Nurse and Devendra Bishoo combined to rip through England’s middle order in the second match of the series, which saw England fall from 108/2 to 124/6 before a stellar partnership from Joe Root and Chris Woakes regained the initiative for England and carried them to a four wicket victory. England again struggled with spin, making odds of 7/4 for Nurse to West Indies’ top bowler at Barbados very good value.

Once the panic had calmed, England quickly made batting seem easy again. A typical flying start by Jason Roy took the game out of West Indies’ hands after England’s bowling unit had bowled the hosts out for a sub-par score. Chris Woakes was once again very economical, Liam Plunkett hostile and Adil Rashid was in the wickets again. Rashid, who has looked back to his best after a poor tour of India, is the favourite to be England’s top bowler at 3/1, making him the best option from that market.

A balanced bowling unit of four seamers, two spinners and the part-time offies of Joe Root make England a diverse threat to their opponents. The returning Steven Finn picked up 2 for 38 off eight overs to further England’s depth with the ball. Combine that with a batting line-up that is armed with genuine batsmen all the way down to number 10 and you have one of the most formidable One-Day teams in world cricket.

England are sure fire favourites to pick up another victory. Rotation of the team is possible, but the power in their batting line-up continues to look unstoppable. This West Indies team are anachronistic, much like the England side before Eoin Morgan took charge, and are unable to keep pace with an England team that must be eyeing Champions Trophy success. England are 3/1 to win the match, hit the most fours and hit the most sixes, which has to be my option from the markets on this game.