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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

West Indies v England 1st T20I: Preview, team news and how to watch

The State of Play

For all the talk of a bright new dawn for England’s white-ball setup, it was the West Indies who enjoyed a moment to savour on Saturday as they got over the line in a nervy chase to claim their first One-Day International series win over the tourists since 2007.

With a much-changed England team failing to make much headway in the 50-over format, attention now turns to five T20Is between the sides in the build-up to Christmas, the first of which takes place in Barbados on Tuesday.

England may have failed miserably in their bid to retain the 50-over World Cup this year, but they will get a chance to defend the T20 crown they claimed last year in just six months’ time.

With that tournament being held in the West Indies and the United States, the coming days should serve as ideal preparation for Jos Buttler’s team.

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For the likes of Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes, omitted from the ODI squad but retained for the shortened format, the series represents a crucial opportunity to impress selectors. Meanwhile, Buttler will again lean on Phil Salt, Will Jacks and Rehan Ahmed, all touted as key figures in England’s white-ball rebuild.

One change for the series will involve the start of the ICC’s stop-clock trial, which will run until next April in men’s limited-overs internationals, penalising bowling teams who take over 60 seconds between overs with a five-run penalty after three infractions.

The Windies, meanwhile, are gearing up for a home World Cup and should be full of confidence after their ODI exploits. Since the start of last year, they have won all three series against England, one apiece in ODIs, T20Is and Tests. Will they compound the tourists’ misery here?


Team News

On Saturday, the Windies confirmed Andre Russell has been recalled to the T20I setup for the first time since the 2021 World Cup, while Sherfane Rutherford is back in the reckoning for the first time since 2020.

Seamer Matthew Forde took three quickfire wickets on his international debut on Saturday, and he will be looking to carry that form across into the shorter format as he remains with the team for this series.

Buttler talked up Jacks’ performance in the aftermath of Saturday’s defeat, in which he posted figures of 3-22. He’s one of 11 players to make both squads for this limited-overs tour, with Brydon Carse, Zak Crawley, Tom Hartley and Ollie Pope the quartet to drop out between the two series.

Jofra Archer trained with the team at the weekend, but there is no timescale on his return to action just yet.


Full West Indies squad: Rovman Powell, Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Matthew Forde, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd.

Full England squad: Jos Buttler, Rehan Ahmed, Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Ben Duckett, Will Jacks, Liam Livingstone, Tymal Mills, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Reece Topley, John Turner, Chris Woakes.

What they Said

Buttler on what the future looks like for England’s white-ball teams after the ODI series:

“The series is the start of a new journey for this team. You can’t get experience if you don’t give people experience to play and be in those situations.

“It’s a very young side barring myself in terms of experience in the number of caps, so guys will have taken a lot from this and learned a lot. We have given them exposure and given them opportunity.

“There is a hell of a lot of talent and depth and guys will get better and better. I’m looking forward. Times change, things move on and it’s very important to look forward.”


When and How to Watch

The first T20I will be played at the Kensington Oval and is scheduled to get under way at 22:00 UK time. Like the rest of the matches played on this tour, it will be shown live by TNT Sports and can be streamed live on Discovery+ in the UK.

Prediction

While England approach Tuesday’s match as favourites, the same was said ahead of each ODI contest, and the Windies will be in high spirits after their own rebuild began with a first One-Day series win over a full member nation since March 2021.

England must rediscover their aggressive batting style after coming unstuck in difficult conditions in the final ODI on Saturday. If the tourists can do that, they should have too much for their hosts.

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