ICC World Cup 2019, England vs West Indies: Top five player battles - Windies wary of Archer threat
After a sensational 106-run win over Bangladesh, England will take on West Indies in their fourth World Cup game, which is set to take place Friday in Southampton. West Indies had a great start to the tournament as they defeated Pakistan by seven wickets in their opening game. But things have gone downhill from then on, as the Jason Holder-led side suffered a 15-run loss to Australia, and then saw the South Africa encounter getting abandoned due to rain.
England, on the other hand, faced a few jitters after losing to Pakistan by 14 runs in their second match. But the win over Bangladesh has again placed them as the favourites in the tournament.
Here are the key player battles that could define England and West Indies’ fixture:
Jofra Archer vs Chris Gayle
The highlight of the match is expected to be the fierce contest between seamer Jofra Archer and Chris Gayle. The Windies opener has gone off to a good start in the tournament, and an unlucky umpiring error saw him getting dismissed against Australia. Archer, on the other hand, has been excellent with the new ball, and in the death overs. The seamer has picked up six wickets so far in the tournament in three games, and he will look to trouble the “Universe Boss” with pace and bounce. Archer, who has played junior cricket in the Caribbean is a known player in West Indies’ cricket circles, and could face some trouble.
Oshane Thomas vs Jason Roy
Jason Roy hammered 153 runs in 121 balls against Bangladesh’ bowling line-up, which lacks a bit of pace. He will face a similar set of bowlers against Windies, and could enjoy another field day at the top of the order with the bat. Oshane Thomas, who has had a bright start with the new ball in the tournament. Thomas has picked u p six wickets in the World Cup, and would hope he could dismantle England’s top order, by dismissing the in-form batsman.
Mark Wood vs Nicholas Pooran
Mark Wood will look to get put on a show against West Indies. The seamer has looked impressive against Bangladesh and Pakistan, picking up 2 wickets in each games. Nicholas Pooran has been impressive in the middle-order, and he will have to face the dangerous seamer in the middle overs. The left-handed batsman has faced just 5 balls from Wood in the T20Is, in which he was dismissed once and could score only 2 runs.
Sheldon Cottrell vs Joe Root
Sheldon Cottrell got off to against South Africa, dismissing both Hashim Amla and Aiden Markram with the new ball, before the play was called off due to rain. The right-armer picked up three more wickets in the first two games. England skipper Joe Root, who scored a ton against Pakistan, is known to find it hard to fend off against bounce, and Cottrell could trouble the batsman with the same.
Andre Russell vs Chris Woakes
Andre Russell, who is expected to return to the playing XI after getting over his knee injury, will have to fend off the threat posed by Chris Woakes. The two players, who both have played for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, know each other well, and can counter-act against each other. In ODIs, Russell has played Woakes for just five balls, in which he dismissed once. The batsman, who was slammed for losing his cool against Australia, would be eager to keep his composure this time around, and win the battle against his former IPL teammate.