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First hurdle for Windies today

The trinidad Guardian / The equation is simple enough- win all five matches in this ODI series against England gain automatic qualification to the 2019 World Cup. However, achieving it will be no simple task for the Caribbean men, as their opponents will be England at home.

The first of the five matches bowls off today at Old Trafford and the West Indies will be going into the game with their tails up after winning the T20 clash on the weekend. The West Indies can ill afford to lose any of the matches in this series because if they do, they will finish outside the top eight in the ICC ODI rankings and will have to enter a play off. Had they won their lone clash against Ireland last week, they could have qualified with a 4-1 series win but that game was railed off making matter tougher for the West Indies.

The T20 squad that defeated England on Saturday contained none of the Test players who made names for themselves during the first leg of their tour, but the ODI squad is an amalgam of the two formats-with the likes of Shai Hope, the breakout star of the Test series, and Jason Holder, blended in with the likes of Gayle and Samuels. Jason Holder returns to his leadership duties in place of Carlos Brathwaite.

Gayle looked in fine touch in the T20 clash striking 40 in no time and this has given skipper Holder confidence: “It’s obviously a huge boost with the calibre of player Chris is. We can expect some really good things from him.”

England is expected to drop Jason Roy for the match and open the batting with wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow. “I’d like to hope that having finished the Champions Trophy that I will definitely get a run within the side. I have been in and out for one game here and there. At some point it would be nice to get a decent run. I don’t mind where I play or bat as long as I am in that XI. When I have been asked to do so I like to think I have done all right over the last year or so when I have opened or come in at three.”

The West Indies has met England twice in ODIs at Old Trafford with each team winning one. In 1984, the West Indies hammered England by 104 runs and seven years later the English ran away with a narrow nine-run victory. Overall, against all opposition, the Windies has played five matches at the venue, winning two and losing three.

TEAMS:

West Indies: Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Marlon Samuels, Shai Hope (wk), Kyle Hope, Rovman Powell, Jason Holder (capt), Jason Mohammed, Alzarri Joseph, Jerome Taylor, Kesrick Williams.

England: Alex Hales, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (capt), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Tom Curran, Jake Ball, Liam Plunkett.

WEST INDIES AT OLD TRAFFORD

1975 – West Indies defeated Sri Lanka by 9 wkts.

1983 – India defeated the West Indies by 34 runs

1984 – West Indies defeated England by 104 runs

1991 – England defeated West Indies by 9 runs

1999 – Australia defeated the West Indies by 6 wkts

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