England go into this game 1-0 up in the five match series after the second match was abandoned in the rain at Trent Bridge on Thursday
Scheduling five one-dayers in September gambles with the weather but counties are so desperate for the income from England matches that an already packed schedule is squeezed further and such delays are the pay-off.
There are many reasons why the West Indies have now failed to qualify automatically for the 2019 World Cup, some of which are off the field related, but one thing they can do is be more adaptable in their strategies.
In T20, the “block-or-bash” method has not hindered them, the immense power in the batting order over a short format match means they can overcome dot balls by clearing the boundary regularly. In the 50 over game the side has a dot ball percentage since the 2015 world cup of just under 60% the most of any of the major sides. By comparison England’s dot ballpercentage is under 50%. Their batsman look to turn ones into twos which is a big contrast from the “boundary or nothing” approach from the likes of Chris Gayle which we saw in the first match of this series at Old Trafford where the West Indies innings fizzled away after Gayle and Lewis teed off at the start of the innings.
Any team with hitters like Gayle (when fit), Lewis and Pollard has a punchers chance but the approaches and strategies in anything other than benign conditions is an issue across the team
The third match is at Bristol on Sunday. England are 1/4 favourites, West Indies 3/1 underdogs across the market which appears fair enough given the late season English conditions and the West Indies’ travails in the format.
My idea of a bet here is in the West Indies batsman market. Against the moving ball there is a premium on technique and the best West Indian technique is in 23 year old batsman Shai Hope. Hope really impressed in the three match test series with two hundreds and a fifty in compiling 375 runs in his six innings. Where others in this ODI team are “boom and bust” he sets out to anchor an innings and attempts to let the hitters play round him. He has only played 19 ODIs in a fledgling career but already has 659 runs at an average of over 40 but at a very modest strike rate of 66, a more studied approach than his team mates.
We are being offered 7/2 with William Hill and Skybet that while the likes of Gayle and Lewis attempt “calypso cricket” in anything but calypso conditions in England in September he will occupy the crease and compile a score.