West Indies players attend a training session ahead of their match against England. Reuters
Tournament favourites England will look to continue their dominance when they take on power-packed West Indies in their fourth encounter of the ongoing World Cup at The Rose Bowl on Friday.
England, who started off their campaign in an impressive manner winning comfortably against South Africa, faced a shock defeat at the hands of Pakistan in their second encounter. However, they came back strongly and aced every department against Bangladesh as they first put up 386/6 on board and then bundled them out for 280 in the 49th over.
The hosts would want to continue with the crucial form of Jason Roy, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan.
In bowling, they have the likes of Jofra Archer who can bamboozle any opposition with his extreme pace and bounce. In Ben Stokes, they have an all-rounder who can give them priceless overs in the middle and score brisk runs whenever required.
Also, they have Adil Rashid and Mark Wood who are more than capable of taking wickets at any stage of the game.
Meanwhile, wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler has been declared fit to play against the West Indies. Buttler, who scored 64 from 44 balls in Saturday’s win, did not take the field after suffering heavy bruising to his right hip with Jonny Bairstow taking over as wicketkeeper.
On the other hand, Windies will hope that their bowlers come with a much improved performance as compared to the one they came out against Australia where they squandered the early advantage and conceded a total of around 300.
Their batsmen also need to come to the party and make sure they play with application and concentration.
Their shot selection was poor against the defending champions and that would be something which Jason Holder would desperatley want them to work on.
England, with two wins in three matches, are sitting at the third spot in the points table whereas West Indies are at the sixth position with three points. And a loss in Friday’s match would make the journey tougher for both the teams in the upcoming matches.
Meanwhile, West Indies bowler Sheldon Cottrell has been creating a buzz in the ongoing World Cup, not just because of his brilliant bowling but for his flamboyant celebrations, known as the ‘Sheldon Salute’ which he does after taking a wicket.
However, England coach Trevor Bayliss is not amused by the ‘Sheldon Salute’.
According to ESPNcricinfo, Bayliss said on Wednesday that the signature celebratory salute of Cottrell annoys him more than anything else.
“If you’re older than about 40-years-old it p----- you off,” Bayliss said on Wednesday ahead of England’s encounter with West Indies to be played on Friday.
“But every team has their way of celebrating and I’m sure other teams might not like the way we celebrate. In the end, it’s a young man’s game. It’s all entertainment. If it gets a bit of a laugh or a smile on people’s faces so be it,” he added.
Cottrell celebrates every dismissal of his with a short march and a salute to the pavilion as a tribute to the Jamaican Armed Forces. He is a soldier in the Jamaican Defence Force.
“It’s a military-style salute. I’m a soldier by profession. Me saluting is just to show my respect to the Jamaica Defence Force,” he was quoted as saying to the BBC earlier this year.
“I do it every time I get a wicket. I practised it for six months when I was training in the army,” he added.
England, with two wins in three matches, are sitting at the third spot in the points table whereas West Indies are at the sixth position with three points. Both sides will face each other in Southampton on Friday.
Meanwhile, England fast bowler Mark Wood could miss the World Cup match against the West Indies in Southampton on Friday following a recurrence of his longstanding ankle problems.
Wood suffered discomfort in his left ankle after England’s win over Bangladesh in Cardiff on Saturday, when the Durham quick recorded the fastest delivery of the tournament so far at 95.6 mph (153.9 kmh).
The 29-year-old has undergone three major operations on his ankle.