England v West Indies, 1st ODI, Headingley
England seek to maintain momentum
May 20, 2009
Match factsThursday May 21
Start time 10.45 (9.45GMT)
Big PictureEngland wrapped up the Test series and regained the Wisden Trophy with impressive efficiency in their final five-day action before the Ashes. However, before thoughts can seriously turn to Australia, there is a busy period of limited-overs action, beginning with this three-match series against West Indies.
After the win at Chester-le-Street, Andrew Strauss said that it was important England focussed on their one-day cricket and not think too far ahead. They came back to steal the series in the Caribbean 3-2 with Andrew Flintoff taking a hat-trick in the final match, but yet again Flintoff is injured and on the sidelines. So too is Kevin Pietersen, who has been withdrawn with an Achilles injury, leaving the door open for a possible debut for Eoin Morgan
West Indies are always a dangerous one-day team with a batting line-up packed with explosive hitters, none more so than their captain, Chris Gayle, who found top gear in the second innings at Durham with 54 off 43 balls. He might not have much time for Test cricket, but the one-day variety is much more up his street. Dwayne Bravo's return to the squad adds depth with bat and ball, so although England have been comfortably superior in recent weeks that might change in the coming days.
Form guideEngland WWLLW
West Indies LLWWL
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Ravi Bopara has solved England's Test No. 3 position for the foreseeable future and now he needs to cement his position at the top of the one-day order. He was promoted to open in India and retained the role in West Indies with a modicum of success, but England are still searching for the ideal combination. His approach is refreshingly simple - "you just attack more balls in one-day cricket" - and with his confidence riding high this is Bopara's chance to make another position his own.
How West Indies could have done with Dwayne Bravo during the Test series, but he was controversially omitted after medical advice said his ankle hadn't recovered sufficiently. He has spent the last six weeks batting, bowling and diving around at the IPL and his return brings so much to the tourists' side. He can bat anyway, but favours the 'finishers' role, is a brilliant death bowler and is one of best fielders in the world.
Alastair Cook and Graham Onions are the two players who drop out from the Test side and their places are likely to be taken by Owais Shah and Dimitri Mascarenhas. Shah has a point to prove after losing his Test place and failing to break into the Delhi Daredevils side during the IPL and could be joined in the middle-order by Morgan, who has played 23 ODIs for Ireland, or Ian Bell. Matt Prior and Ravi Bopara have recovered from the knocks that kept them off the field on the final day of the Test match.
England (probable) 1 Andrew Strauss (capt), 2 Ravi Bopara, 3 Owais Shah, 4 Eoin Morgan, 5 Paul Collingwood, 6 Matt Prior (wk), 7 Dimitri Mascarenhas, 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 Tim Bresnan, 11 James Anderson
West Indies are likely to draft in a number of allrounders with Bravo's return topping the bill. Kieron Pollard, who played against England in the Caribbean, could join him in the middle order while Darren Sammy is a valuable player in one-day cricket with his tight wicket-to-wicket bowling. Lendl Simmons will resume opening alongside Chris Gayle.
West Indies (probable) 1 Chris Gayle (capt), 2 Lendl Simmons, 3 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 4 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 8 Darren Sammy, 9 Jerome Taylor, 10 Sulieman Benn, 10 Fidel Edwards
Pitch and conditionsThe ground still resembles a building site with two cranes in position behind the stands, but the pitch and relayed outfield look in good condition. The forecast is for showers and it hasn't warmed up much yet for the West Indians.
Stats and Trivia
- England and West Indies have met each other four times in one-day internationals at Headingley, with England leading the head-to-head 3-1. West Indies' only victory came in 1988 when Gordon Greenidge made 78 and Malcolm Marshall took 3 for 28.
- The last meeting on this ground was in 2004 when England came out on top by seven wickets with Steve Harmison claiming the Man-of-the-Match award for his 3 for 31.
"The one-day series coming up and the Twenty20 are two very important series for us as a developing side. Hopefully we can win there and build up more momentum."
Andrew Strauss tries to stops thoughts drifting too much towards the Ashes.
"We have the guys to do the job. We are representing West Indies so have to give our best."
Chris Gayle comes as close as he ever does to motivational speaking.