By Archibald Newton, My Club Betting Cricket Correspondent
First Series (Friday 3rd March @ 13:30)
England are in the Caribbean and that means one thing, it’s time for the ODI Series against the West Indies!
It should be a stroll in the park for Eoin Morgan’s side shouldn’t it? Well, yes it should but nothing’s ever straight forward with the English. Brexit springs to mind…
To start with, England’s bowling attack looks as bare as my fridge! Mark Wood, David Willey and most likely Jake Ball are all missing, so the responsibility could be handed to Tom Curran who was “giddy” after receiving his first senior call-up. It’s not a holiday young sir!
The batting order should be pretty clear but then again, Sam Billings performed like a wet squid in the warm up games.
Jonny Bairstow made 86 at the top of the order in the second of those pre-series matches, but that isn’t his role… It’s all got a little confusing!
Alex Hales is the man England will turn to but can you trust a man who declined the tour of Bangladesh at the end of last year? One thinks not… You too Morgan!
Now… where to start with the West Indies? It’s a good job that I have an hour or two to spare…
To put it bluntly, their preparation for this series has been an absolute shambles!
Players can only feature for the West Indies if they have played the relevant format domestically in the Caribbean since 2010. What a load of old tosh!
Missing the likes of Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels and Johnson Charles, they’re squad is as experienced as my grandson’s pre-school class.
They do however have Carlos Brathwaite in their ranks, who hit four successive sixes in the final over from Ben Stokes last year. Stokes hasn’t slept a wink since that World Twenty 20 final…
The England all-rounder will hopefully be able to keep his eyes open in Antigua, but it would also be appreciated Ben if you manage to deter from punching any lockers and clashing with any opposition players!
With nine victories from their past 10 ODI’s against the West Indies, that streak will continue but it certainly won’t be a walk in the park…
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*Odds correct at time of publishing.