It’s a clear and warm day at Oval and the pitch with a little grass on looks great for batting. The match is likely, to be full of runs.
The first match, it was Bairstow’s show, That stole their direct ticket to World Cup 2019; The rain took over the next, spoiling their chance of winning the series; In the third one, Windies probably would not have recovered from Moeen Ali’s ‘just slog’ ton.
If the visitors come up with a plan and win the next two, They can enjoy ‘decent success’ in the tour. They stunned England with a great win in the second test, won the only T20I; and a series-level here can boost their confidence going into the qualifiers.
England will be shaken by Ben Stokes’ incident where the all-rounder was arrested and held until midnight but released without any charges. Alex Hales who was with Stokes during the incident returned to Bristol.
Jason Roy after Jonny Bairstow stole his place at the top, comes back into the team in the place of Hales and Stokes’ replacement is going to be difficult. There is Tom Curran, their death bowling specialist, David Willey their go-to bowler and the called-up Sam Billings.
For a team that bat deep; till Adil Rashid, at no.11; no bowling is going to be difficult for them unless the opposing team has a plan; different plan for different players.
In the last ODI, the Windies had things under control before Moeen Ali took over. They are inconsistent with their bowling unit. Kesrick Williams’ return hopefully will have an impact on the performance. If the visitors work as a team and come up with something special, they still have a great chance of making it 1-2 at Oval.
West Indies showed that they can lift the game as a team to win the second test and in the T20I, it was their game. In the ODI, their ‘see the ball, hit it’ concept fails miserably.
In the last ODI, Chris Gayle smashed all over the park before falling short of his ton. He also had the start in the first ODI. While his partner Evin Lewis couldn’t score big much like others. West Indies lack a player who can bat well in the middle overs. Shai Hope showed his class in the test series and Evin Lewis did it in the T20I for the team. He plays similar to Gayle but doesn’t develop his innings. He either hit or gets out; that is not the way how ODI works. Even in the third ODI, the team lost all their wickets with more than 10 overs in the hand. Other than Gayle, Only Shai Hope and Jason Holder showed some skills with the bat but that wasn’t enough.
While other teams have players like Kohli, Amla, Williamson, Rohit or England’s Root, who defend, takes singles, keeps the momentum along with the run-rate going in the middle overs but West Indies lack a player who can bat through.
West Indies, if they leave their block-bash formula and try concentrating on building their innings, The team has a great chance of pulling a win.
The coach, Stuart Law said, the team is caught between the T20 and the test. Law already has started the preparations for the next years’ qualifiers, Good performances here can develop team’s confidence for qualifiers.