West Indies v England - 2nd T20 Preview
West Indies v England: Second T20 Preview – Can England Wrap Up The Series?
England head to St Kitts on Friday for the second T20 clash in their best of three series against the West Indies. The hosts were below par in the first match and Jonny Bairstow duly punished them with a haul of 68 to tee up a four-wicket victory for Eoin Morgan’s men. They should therefore head into the second match full of confidence after an underwhelming tour of the Caribbean. The Test side slumped to a shock 2-1 series defeat and the ODI team were held to a 2-2 draw, but now England have a great chance to end the tour on a high.
What did we Learn From the First T20 Between the West Indies and England?
The West Indies are world champions in this format, but they displayed ill-discipline in the field and committed a number of basic errors. England were in an unforgiving mood and they capitalised thanks to strong performances from a few key players. In the end, they chased down the Windies’ total of 160 with seven balls to spare to secure a thrilling victory at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in Saint Lucia. England were determined, focused and disciplined and if they continue to play like that then they can certainly clinch this three-match series.
Who Were the Standout Performers in the First Game?
Jonny Bairstow hit a career best T20 international score of 68 from 40 balls to set England on the way to victory on Tuesday. He has averaged just 22 in ODIs this winter, so his 68 in the shorter format was unexpected but very welcome. He fell in the 12th over, but Joe Denly managed 30 and Sam Billings put up 18 to steer the tourists to victory. Tom Curran also produced a career best T20 performance for England, taking 4-36. He will be delighted with his efforts after failing to take a single wicket across two matches in last month’s ODI series. The other standout performer was Chris Jordan, who took the crucial wicket of in-form Chris Gayle and then showed remarkable athleticism to produce a caught-and-bowled to remove Darren Bravo. He is used as a T20 specialist by England, but he could well force his way into the 50-over reckoning if he continues to impress in this series.
Who Needs to Step up in the Second Game?
It was a disappointing match for Joe Root, who faced just two balls and scored zero runs before being removed lbw. England’s Test captain is desperate to prove his worth in this format ahead of next year’s T20 World Cup, but he fluffed his lines in this two-ball duck. Gayle has been the Windies’ talisman in recent clashes with England, but he could not hit the heights required of him on Tuesday. Pretty much every member of their team needs to step up and improve, after they gifted England boundaries and dropped Bairstow twice during his career best knock. Sheldon Cottrell was particularly guilty of spilling a straightforward catch, while the hosts conceded 23 extras to just eight for England.
What Would a win in the Second Game Mean for England?
If England can win the second game they will tie up a famous series victory with one match to spare. The West Indies Test side was in dire straits and England were expected to whitewash them, but Root’s men suffered a humbling series defeat. Morgan’s ODI team, ranked number one in the world, were expected to return the feel-good factor by blowing the opposition away in a subsequent best-of-five series, but they were largely frustrated and it finished 2-2. England fans were expecting an anticlimactic end to the tour and they were clear underdogs to secure victory in the T20 series, but they can now approach the second game with renewed optimism and there are some great cricket spread betting markets to help ramp up the excitement experienced when watching events unfold in St Kitts on Friday.
Who are the Bowlers to Watch in the Second T20?
England’s bowlers are under intense pressure after coach Trevor Bayliss said he would give Barbados-born all-rounder Jofra Archer a chance to shine before this summer’s ODI World Cup. Archer qualifies for England this month and Bayliss is keen to see him in action in 50-over contests against Ireland and Pakistan before selecting his World Cup squad. The player most obviously at risk of being forced to make way was Curran, who had been pretty woeful in the ODI series against the Windies, failing to take a wicket or score a run. He has really stepped up his performance levels, while Jordan also impressed, and that all heaps the pressure on David Willey and Liam Plunkett, who both struggled in the first T20. It is a great situation for England to be in as they approach a really important summer.
Who are the Batsmen to Watch?
All eyes will be on Gayle to see how he responds after being removed for 15 by Jordan in the opener. He has been in exhilarating form across all formats over the past few weeks and he has the potential to cause all sorts of problems for England’s bowlers. The tourists are blessed with a number of big hitters and it will be fascinating to see if Denly can continue to impress. Bairstow should be full of confidence now, and the onus is really on Root to generate a massive improvement.
Where are the Runs Most Likely to Come From in the Second T20?
Morgan only managed eight in the opening match and Root was removed for that two-ball duck, so you would expect greater hauls from that duo. England’s biggest weapons could well be Bairstow and Denly again, but kudos to Sam Billings too. He and Kent teammate Denly played with a great deal of poise, assurance and confidence to produce a stand of 50 and that pushed England to the brink of victory. West Indies fans demand more from Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer, who fell early in the first match.
Will England secure a much needed T20 series victory in the second game in St Lucia? Check out all the latest West Indies v England spread betting markets.