Vulnerable Windies look to avoid whitewash
Form and momentum favour England
Have you ever seen a series where every game that follows has a deja vu feel of the one before? This ongoing duel between England and West Indies certainly does fall into that bracket. England have batted first in all the four games, posted challenging totals and none of the matches were close at all. West Indies were probably in the game just a wee bit during the third T20I but that’s about it. They’ve struggled to come to terms with the slowness of the pitches and it’s rendered their powerhitters ineffective.
Only Deandra Dottin has showed some resolve but even she can only do so much. England have been smart with both bat and ball. Their batters haven’t looked to slog around, and instead have tried to focus on picking the gaps and running the twos as much as possible. Strike rotation has been the biggest difference between the two sides amongst other factors. Also the toss going England’s way in most of the games has further added to Windies’ misery as chasing has looked extremely difficult on these decks.
Strong teams find different saviours for each game and that’s been the story of England’s success in this series. They haven’t had to rely on any one player to deliver all the time. Tammy Beaumont did it in the first game while Sarah Glenn and Natalie Sciver were the stars in the following matches. In the previous encounter, it was Amy Jones’ turn to step up with a fiery innings after the early wickets had dented the hosts. As for the bowling, they have always had the cushion of challenging totals and have stuck to their tasks without giving the Windies a sniff.
Mixing up the pace, hitting the hard lengths and not giving room to the batters has been the modus operandi of the England pacers while the spinners have enjoyed tossing them up due to the dimensions of the ground. All-round, the home side have been extremely clinical and way ahead of their opponents in the series, fully capitalising on the familiar conditions in their den. Having come this far, England would dearly want a whitewash as that’s no mean feat against a potentially strong West Indies side. We could see the hosts at full strength for this game.
T Beaumont, D Wyatt, N Sciver, H Knight(c), A Jones(wk), F Wilson, K Brunt, S Glenn, S Ecclestone, A Shrubsole, M Villiers
|A Ellen Jones||55||37||5||2||148.65|
To say that the Windies have been disappointing is an understatement. Sure, the COVID19 pandemic has meant an unusually long gap which meant that their players were rusty. But so were England’s, and the biggest issue for the tourists has been their non-adaptability to the English conditions. The bowlers have struggled to hit the right lines and lengths on these slow decks, more so in the slog overs where the leaked runs has cost them the game time and again. The batting has lacked intent, and in trying to hit their way out of trouble, shot themselves in the foot. Deandra Dottin has battled hard but these aren’t the kind of decks where an individual can singlehandedly seal games for the team. It calls for support as well, and West Indies have lacked that. Such tracks call for smarter batting and they have been anything but that in their approach. As a result, they are on the verge of a humiliating whitewash.
D Dottin, H Mathews, L Kirby, S Taylor(c), S Campbelle(wk), C Henry, C Nation, A Alleyne, S Grimmond, S Selman, A Fletcher
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||11||0 mm.||3.19 k/h||From: SW||100%|
|03h||9||0 mm.||3.11 k/h||From: S||75%|
|06h||9||0 mm.||4.45 k/h||From: S||85%|
|09h||12||0 mm.||6.63 k/h||From: S||100%|
|12h||11||0.48 mm.||6.57 k/h||From: S||100%|
|15h||12||0.51 mm.||7.46 k/h||From: S||100%|
|18h||13||4.82 mm.||5.66 k/h||From: S||100%|
|21h||11||0.57 mm.||4.51 k/h||From: SSW||100%|
Forecast is for a rainy day in Derby although it’s not certain if it will affect the match timings. There was a similar threat before the second game and we got a full game. The pitch should another dry and slow surface, with a bit in it for the spinners and those who vary their pace well. Batsmen will need to be clever in their approach.
Derby has been a constant venue in County cricket across formats, and a white-ball venue for international cricket.
The trend is clear – teams batting first virtually win the game unless you mess up with the bat. Therefore, the toss becomes crucial and it’s a no-brainer that the captain will opt to bat.