1st T20I: West Indies aim to inflict more pain on England

After beating England 2-1 in the Tests and tying the ODIs 2-2 in stunning manner, West Indies now shift into the format in which they are the most dangerous.

This has been a monumental series for the hosts, who had been widely written off before the Tests, and their mood will be understandably buoyant heading into the first of three T20Is in St Lucia on Wednesday after the hammering inflicted on England in the final ODI.

Cricket West Indies opted to retain the ODI squad as the T20I outfit, including Jason Holder as captain ahead of the regular T20I skipper Carlos Brathwaite. No doubt the good vibrations experienced under Holder this year is the reason. (READ: Russell out of England T20Is, Holder appointed captain)

That England have the World Cup on their minds is evident from the number of star players rested for these three games, among them Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler.

Their first task will be to stop Chris Gayle, who is coming off a tremendous ODI series in which he scored 424 runs at a strike-rate of 134.17.

Match details

What: West Indies vs England, 1st T20I

When: Wednesday, March 6

Where: Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, St Lucia

Time: 01:30 IST

Team news

West Indies

West Indies have lost Andre Russell to injury, meaning that since being recalled recently the allrounder has not played one game. John Campbell is set for his T20I debut after making a few starts in his first taste of ODI cricket.

John Campbell, who made his ODI debut against England, is in line for his first T20I.
John Campbell, who made his ODI debut against England, is in line for his first T20I. © Getty

Likely XI: 1 Chris Gayle, 2 John Campbell, 3 Shai Hope (wk), 4 Darren Bravo, 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Jason Holder (capt), 7 Carlos Brathwaite, 8 Ashley Nurse, 9 Sheldon Cottrell, 10 Devendra Bishoo, 11 Oshane Thomas

England

Moeen Ali has also been rested, while Jason Roy has flown back to England for the birth of his child. Liam Plunkett is an injury scare, which puts onus on the replacement players to deliver. The likes of Dawid Malan, Sam Billings, David Willey, Chris Jordan and at least one of the Curran brothers, Tom and Sam, will feature.

Mark Wood is also a likely starter after his success in his comeback Test and the ODIs. (READ: Back for England, Dawid Malan hopeful of longer rope)

Likely XI: 1 Alex Hales, 2 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 3 Dawid Malan, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Sam Billings, 6 Joe Denly, 7 David Willey, 8 Tom Curran, 9 Chris Jordan, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 Mark Wood

Pitch and conditions

The average runs scored in T20Is at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium is 303, with a run rate of 7.84 an over. The last three innings there are 150, 153 and 150.

The forecast is for scattered showers in the late afternoon and then in the evening.

Stats

Gayle needs five runs to surpass Marlon Samuels and become West Indies’ highest run-getter in T20Is.

West Indies have beaten England in 11 of the 15 T20Is played against each other.

West Indies have won one of the three T20Is played in St Lucia.

Quotes

“From a personal point of view, you always want to play more and when you do average 50 with a strike-rate of 150 you do, probably selfishly, think you should be playing a bit more.” – Dawid Malan