Will England Bounce Back From Heavy ODI Defeat In T20 Opener?

The West Indies hammered England in the fifth ODI between the sides, ensuring that the hosts were able to claim a draw from the series.

Both teams now turn their attention to the three-match T20 series, beginning in St Lucia – the site of the fifth ODI.

England had one of their trademark collapses that have been present in recent series in the final one-day international, allowing Jason Holder’s men to claim the seven-wicket victory. Trevor Bayliss and Eoin Morgan have identified bouncy pitches as a weakness and it will be a concern looking forward to the World Cup during the summer.

The Three Lions have a chance to respond in the T20 series, although they’ve been inconsistent in the format over the last few years. Holder’s men have also been up-and-down with their form, losing to India over the winter, although they did beat Bangladesh last time out.

The West Indies have the momentum and will be aiming to be unbeaten against England in all three format of the game.

West Indies’ Top Batsman

Gayle has been dominant

Chris Gayle might be in the form of his life at the age of 39. The opener has suggested that will retire from the game after the World Cup, but if he continues to play like he’s playing at the moment, Gayle may opt to extend his career beyond the end of the English summer.

He was destructive once again in the final match of the series, passing fifty for the fourth time in a row. Gayle smashed 77 run off just 29 deliveries, ensuring that the West Indies would not have a long wait to knock off the 114 runs required for victory.

His innings included nine sixes along with five boundaries, operating at an incredible strike rate of 285.18. England have had no answer for his power at the top of the innings and he could be in line for a big day in the T20 opener. It would be foolish to doubt the 39-year-old in this sort of form. Back him to lead the way at odds of +200   with 888Sport.

England’s Top Batsman

The Three Lions have not had a knock from Jonny Bairstow at the top of the innings outside of his fifty in the fourth match of the ODI series. Bairstow’s form has been inconsistent of late and he could do with a performance to take momentum into the summer. England have a healthy competition for places at the top of the order, meaning that no one is guaranteed a place in the side.

Bairstow cannot afford to rest on his laurels, having endured another disappointing knock in St Lucia last time out, scoring only 11 runs. The Yorkshireman has to find his rhythm otherwise he could be under pressure in the matches before the World Cup back on English soil. The T20s will offer him with an opportunity to cut loose without the pressure of having to build an innings. Back Bairstow to find his touch in the opening T20 of the series at odds of +300   with Bet365.

West Indies’ Top Bowler

The Windies’ bowlers got their revenge on England for the pasting they took in Grenada, surging through the order to dismiss the Three Lions for 113. Oshane Thomas led the destruction as he claimed his first five-wicket haul in ODI cricket. The challenge for Thomas will be repeating his form in the shorter format of the game where England will be out to prove a point.

In Thomas’ last outing in T20 cricket, he was blasted around the ground by Bangladesh, conceding 56 runs from his three overs. It is the nature of 20-over cricket that bowlers can be on the receiving end of a hammering. Thomas bounced back from his poor performance in Grenada with a fine display and he has the raw pace to cause the same problems again. Back him to lead the wicket column at odds of +330   with 888Sport.

England’s Top Bowler

Will Jordan provide a spark?

Outside of Mark Wood, England’s pace bowlers have struggled on the tour. Chris Woakes was smashed around the ground with ease by Gayle, while the damage was done before Tom Curran came into the attack. The Three Lions need more from their pacemen at the top of the innings to make inroads to limit the striking power of Gayle among the other Windies’ hitters. The addition of Chris Jordan into the side could provide an answer, although he has not been in an active game at the highest level since last winter against Sri Lanka.

The 30-year-old did have a spell with the Sydney Thunder during the Big Bash, and although he was not outstanding, he was solid enough during his time in Australia. Jordan has a good T20 record for England, averaging 28 for his 40 wickets in 35 appearances. Back him to perform in St Lucia at odds of +350   with 888Sport.

Winner

The West Indies famously beat England in the final of the World T20 when Carlos Brathwaite dispatched Ben Stokes for four consecutive sixes. In their one clash since the meeting in India, the West Indies edged out the Three Lions by 21 runs at Durham in 2017.

Holder’s men have a knack of performing against England, especially in the shortest form of the game, winning 11 of the 15 meetings between the two sides. With Gayle operating at the peak of his powers, the Windies should have enough to blast away their opponents at odds of -138   with 888Sport.

Tips Summary

West Indies To Beat England 1st T20
Tuesday 5th March 2019 20:00 GMT
Odds: -138

Chris Gayle To Beat West Indies’ Top Batsman
Tuesday 5th March 2019 20:00 GMT
Odds: +200

Oshane Thomas To Beat West Indies’ Top Bowler
Tuesday 5th March 2019 20:00 GMT
Odds: +330

Jonny Bairstow To Be England’s Top Batsman
Tuesday 5th March 2019 20:00 GMT
Odds: +300

Chris Jordan To Be England’s Top Bowler
Tuesday 5th March 2019 20:00 GMT
Odds: +350

Chris Gayle
cricket
England
Eoin Morgan
west indies

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