Preview- Tournament favorites England have a slight edge against dark horses West Indies
England and West Indies clashed in a 5-match ODI series earlier this year in the West Indies. In what was a high-scoring and tightly fought series, the honors were shared 2-2 by the end of it. It was a surprising result as England, easily one of the best ODI sides in the world right now, were expected to push the West Indian team aside. But Jason Holder’s team showed excellent batting strength and a positive attitude throughout.
When both the sides clash in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 encounter at Southampton expect another tight and entertaining battle with some lusty hits all over the park.
England, playing at home, are the tournament favorites for a reason and will have a slight edge before the game begins. This will primarily be because of their terrific batting unit. Captain Eoin Morgan, Joe Root, Jos Butler, Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, and Ben Stokes are all outstanding batsmen and in form. Barring Root, all the others are incredible hitters of the ball and would love to attack the West Indian bowlers on a flat deck. Add Jofra Archer’s hitting ability to smoke the ball down the order, and it looks like a dangerous batting powerhouse.
England’s bowling will primarily be dependent on seamers Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Ben Stokes, and Tom Curran along with spinner Adil Rashid. If the pitch has some seam in the initial stages, then Woakes and Curran can cause damage.
As for the West Indies, they are the dark horses for this tournament. Their batting strength is superb with the likes of Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer forming the batting core. In Andre Russell, they have perhaps the most destructive lower-order batsman in modern day cricket at the moment. On a batting track, these batsmen will be a handful. Russell, especially, will fancy his chances in this game and a sizzling cameo by him towards the end might change the complexion of the game.
West Indies also has a decent bowling unit, and the ones to watch out for in this game would be young pacer Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrell, and Jason Holder. Kemar Roach, if he gets a chance, can do some severe damage with his pace and swing as well.
Pitch Condition and England vs West Indies Prediction:
The pitch at Southampton is expected to be a batting-friendly one. The highest total on this venue was achieved very recently – 373-6 by England against Pakistan in May 2019. So we have a fair idea of what the conditions are going to be like.
If there is a cloud cover, then the seamers from both the teams are going to enjoy the benefits in the early overs. However, a flat track would lead to a score of 320-plus being scored in both the innings. With the batting star power on display in both the teams, expect a highly entertaining contest with a flurry of fours and sixes. But with England having a more balanced team gives them a slight edge in this match. Only slightly so.