England have the chance to complete a 3-0 clean sweep when they face West Indies in the third and final ODI at the Kensington Oval, Bridgetown in Barbados on Thursday, March 9. Sridhar Bhamidi picks out the best bets.
England showed in the first two ODIs that they can adapt to the sluggish conditions of the Caribbean by tempering their aggressive instincts. The series is already in England’s kitty but both teams have enough motivation ahead of the third ODI. Can the Windies salvage pride?
West Indies v England 3rd ODI Preview
To be fair to the hosts, the series result isn’t a surprise. England started as favorites and were always tipped to win. But the way this inexperienced West Indies side has folded that would irk the new coach Stuart Law. In both the matches, the hosts had their chances but showed their lack of intent in capitalising.
The biggest positive coming out for the hosts so far is the batting of Jason Mohammed who has sparkled with consecutive fifties. Lack of support from the top-order has meant that they couldn’t kick on. Jonathan Carter too impressed but otherwise this batting line-up showed very promise.
Bowling too found its hero in Ashley Nurse who impressed with his control so far. The lack of bite from the seamers – Shannon Gabriel apart – has been their bane so far. Jason Holder continues to attract criticism of his place in the side and should be looking to answer with his performance.
This is a new-age England that has adapted to the rigors of ODI cricket appreciably under Eoin Morgan. If they have played aggressive brand of cricket thus far, on this tour they have shown their comfort in playing patiently and taming their aggression.
Morgan and Joe Root led their batting so far while Chris Woakes has been the surprise package. And of course, the old horse Liam Plunkett has been very impressive with his control and pace.
With the series in the bag and one eye on the composition for the upcoming Champions Trophy, the visitors may be tempted to rest a couple of regulars and test their bench strength.
West Indies v England Line-ups
With Gabriel injured, Alzarri Joseph could get a look-in. The faltering Kieran Powell could find himself out of the playing XI to be replaced by Shane Dowrich.
Alex Hales is sweating out and could slot in the place of Sam Billings. There could also be a temptation to play Liam Dawson and Tom Curran in the place of regulars Adil Rashid and Steven Finn.
West Indies v England Odds
The odds are still in favour of England to win this match and make it a whitewash. At odds of $1.36 (Ladbrokes
), there isn’t much value in backing the visitors to win. West Indies at odds of $3.40 (William Hill
) provide value but it looks highly unlikely.
On a pitch that is expected to aid spin, Nurse should be licking his lips having already shown his value so far. At odds of $4.50 (William Hill
), the off-spinner is a value punt on being top West Indies bowler.
Jason Mohammed has been the torch bearer with the bat for the hosts and on current form, he looks set to score another fifty. Back him at odds of $3.75 (Ladbrokes
) to do so.
West Indies v England Tips
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