Nervy England eye series win over West Indies
Eoin Morgan’s England will be once again eyeing another series victory over West Indies when they will face West Indies at Kennington Oval on Wednesday.Hosts have 2-0 lead in five-match contest and would want to finish the season with a victory. West Indies will aim for a consolation win to cap off their disappointing tour to England.
After comfortable victories in the first and third ODI, the series win should be easily on the cards, but events in the last 48 hours turned the table around completely.
Star all-rounder Ben Stokes and opener Alex Hales were dropped from the squad after being arrested over charge of assault, which means the team combination will be changed completely for the fourth match. Stokes in particular will be missed the most, as he contributes with bat and ball on the regular basis. Jason Roy is certain to return in place of Hales at the top, whereas Jake Ball is the most likely replacement of Stokes.
There will be added pressure on the likes of Captain Morgan and Joe Root to deliver with the bat as well, as the batting looks relatively thin in the absence of the duo. Morgan has been not been able to replicate his splendid performances given for England in the early home season against South Africa and then ICC Champions Trophy. He has looked a bit off-color and struggled to get into his groove in this series.
For West Indies, there can be not better opportunity to come back and hit England hard than on Wednesday, as their opponents focus is completely off the field. The side has not played well as a unit and have not able to put pressure on England for longer periods of time in the series. Evin Lewis has not yet produced the sort of performances expected of him in the one-day format.
The good news for the visitors is that their explosive opener Chris Gayle, who injured himself while playing a blistering innings in the third ODI, is available for selection. The main concern has been middle order as Marlon Samuels has not been up to the mark with the bat while Jason Mohammad also need to produce the sort of consistency expected of him at the international level.
There has been over-reliance on the opening duo of Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis to get the side off to a good start, while the middle order has been a big let-down in terms of not producing runs when it mattered the most for Jason Holder and his men.
In the bowling department, Captain Jason Holder will be accompanied by Jerome Taylor, Devendra Bishoo and Ashley Nurse, and they will also hope Kesrick Williams will pass his late fitness test to be available for selection again. Alzarri Joseph will play this game as the bowler was standout player for West Indies with the ball in hand in the last game.
There is some grass left on the hard Oval surface, whereas the weather is expected to stay fine throughout.