Chris Gayle's return and other talking points as England face West Indies at Old Trafford

Sport360 staff 23:35 18/09/2017
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England take on a West Indies side buoyed by their success in the one-off Twenty20 when the one-day international series gets under way at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the talking points.

Back on the horse for England

England’s Champions Trophy semi-final exit at the hands of shock tournament winners Pakistan was their last ODI performance, more than three months ago back in mid-June.

Their only white-ball venture since was Saturday’s Twenty20 defeat against West Indies at Chester-le-Street.

Eoin Morgan’s men need to get back on track therefore in this five-match series as they seek to prove to themselves and others that they will be major contenders at their own World Cup in 2019.

England

No ground big enough

Chris Gayle is the world’s first batsman to 100 Twenty20 sixes, after his latest exploits at Chester-le-Street on Saturday night.

The veteran big-hitter, 38 on Thursday, will doubtless be out to add to his 238 maximums to date in ODI cricket on his return to the format for the first time in two and a half years after his stand-off with the West Indies board.

However he fares, though, there are at least five players on each team with the power game to dwarf any venue.

Chris Gayle

Chris Gayle

Monster totals then?

Not necessarily. The weather will play a big part, of course – and in modern ODI cricket, there is always potential for a one-off flake-out as teams target huge totals batting first and occasionally fall in a heap doing so.

If the skies are blue, there should be some decent pitches, but Morgan has already warned there may be some “tired” ones too at this late stage of the summer. A variety of up-and-down totals is therefore likely.

Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes

Jonny, not Jason

Jason Roy’s first-ball duck in Durham, and another handy innings from Jonny Bairstow in the middle order there too, has tipped the balance in favour of the Yorkshireman opening in the first ODI at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Roy ceded his position to Bairstow for the latter stages of the Champions Trophy after a miserable sequence of scores which dated back to another golden duck at the start of the summer against Ireland in Bristol.

His last half-century came against the Windies in Antigua in March, and Bairstow’s consistency has persuaded Morgan to go slightly safety-first here.

Jonny Bairstow

Jonny Bairstow

Who wins?

All recent form in the longer white-ball format, unlike in Twenty20, points to England – despite the return of West Indies’ cavalry.

Gayle and Marlon Samuels are back in the fray, the latter a notable presence with another opportunity to square up to one of his favourite England players, match-winning all-rounder Ben Stokes.

Gayle, Samuels and Jerome Taylor will bolster the team dismissed 3-0 by England back in the Caribbean in March.

England prevailed by some hefty margins there, and follow-up success by anything other than a degree of comfort back on home soil will be a surprise.

Eoin Morgan (r) and Jason Holder.

Eoin Morgan (r) and Jason Holder.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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